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A Collection of Ancient Hindu Hymns 




The Oldest Authority tor the Religious and Social 
Institutions of the Hindus 
Translated from the Original Sanskrit 


By H. H. WILSON, m.a., f.r.s. 

Member of the Royal Asiatic Society* of the Asiatic Societies oi 
Calcutta and Paris, and of the Oriental Society of Germany; 
Foreign Member of the National Institute of France ; 
Member of the Imperial Academies of Petersburgh 
and Vienna, and ot the Royal Academies of 
Munich and Berlin ; Ph,I). (Breslau ) , 

Af. D. (Marburg), etc and Boden 
Professor of Sanskrit in the 
University of Oxford 



First Edition Published by 
H. R. Bhagavat, 874, Sadashiva Peth 
Poona City, India 


The Bangalore Press, Lake View, Mysore Road 
Bangalore City, India 


T HE present edition of the Rig- Veda translation is 
merely a reprint of the first edition primed 
in 1850 and thereafter. The translation of the late 
Prof. Horace Heyman Wilson was the first English 
translation of the Rig-Veda. It has specialities of its 
own and these will keep its value for a long time. 
First of all, it follows the interpretation of Sayana, 
the renowned Indian Vedic Scholar, and as such, 
places his interpretation, based upon Indian tra- 
dition, before the general English reader. Some 
fastidious persons may regard this to be a defect, 
but 1 for one hold quite the opposite view. Scholars 
may give their interpretations to the Vedic verses, 
and so also the translators. But in the case of such 
an ancient work as the Rig-Veda, the best way for 
a translator is to follow Sayana and to give his own 
interpretations, wherever they are different, in the 
notes. So Wilson has done. Secondly, it is a prose 
translation, not a metrical one, and as such keeps 
accuracy. Thirdly, Wilson has spared no pains to 
make his notes as exhaustive as possible. So, for 
the general reader, Wilson’s translation appeared 
to me to be the best and I decided to issu^-tweprint 
edition of the same. nfer } 

Some remarks of Wilson in the intWmctfon and 
the notes may appear to be out of date to present-day 
scholars, but ' that does not lessen the value of the 
translation for the general reader. Scholars are now 
writing books on the Vedas and those who are inter- 
ested in a closer study can have recourse to them. 
As a reference book Wilson’s work will retain its 
importance for a long time to come. * 

I must add a few words about the slight changes 
I have made. I have followed the system of dividing 
the Rig-Veda into Mandalas, Anuvakas arid Suktas, 


Prefatory Note 

as that system is now. generally adopted and so facili- 
tates reference. The serial numbers of the Suktas are 
al»o. given at the end and these too will facilitate 
reference. The diacritical marks 1 could not make 
use of. However, I have giVbn, at the end of the 
book, an Index of Names both in Sanskrit and 
English characters to serve as a guide to pronuncia- 
tion. The first edition contained references to pages 
in the same edition ; these of course I had to change 
and I have changed them into references to Mandala, 
Anuvaka f and Sukta ■ I have given the translation 
first and the notes at the end instead of giving both 
together. This is done for the sake of convenience 
of printing. The references to Vishnu Purana in 
the Notes are kept as they were. They are to the 
first edition of that work by Wilson. 

I cannot conclude without thanking Mr. Dayaram 
C. Advani who kindly allowed me the use of his 

Poona, H. R. Bhagavat. 

Mh August 1925. 

tpHIS reprint as Second Edition of the Rig-Veda, 

Volume I, is the outcome of all printed copies 
of the First Edition being sold out. The matter has 
been carefully looked into and the requisite correc- 
tions made. It is earnestly hoped that tfiere will be 
a ready response to our appeal that public patronage 
will continue to be extended as heretofore, thus 
encouraging the propagation of knowledge sacred to 
us all. 

C. Ramanuja Aiyangar, 


Bangalore City, The Bangalore Printing & 

9th May 1946. Publishing Co., Ltd. 


W HEN the liberal patronage of the Court of 
Directors of the East-India Company enabled 
Dr. Max Muller to undertake his invaluable edition 
of the Rig-Veda, a wish was expressed that its appear- 
ance should be accompanied or followed, o with all 
convenient despatch, by an English translation. As 
I had long contemplated such a work, and had made 
some progress in its execution, even before leaving 
India, I readily undertook to complete my labours 
and publish the translation. 

It might else have been thought scarcely necessary 
to repeat a translation of the first Ash taka, Ogdoad, 
or Eighth book of the Rig-Veda, as that had been 
already more than once accomplished, partly in 
English by the Rev. Mr. Stevenson and Dr. Roer, 
and fully in Latin by the late Dr. Rosen : a translation 
in French, also, by M. Langlois, extending through 
four Ashtakas, or half the Veda, has been recently 
published at Paris; but I was not aware, when I 
engaged !o publish an English translation, that 
such a work had been commenced. At the same 
time, these translations do not seem to preclude 
entirely the usefulness of an English version: the 
earliest publication, the work of the Rev. Mr. Steven- 
son, extends only to the three first hymns of the third 
lecture, or section, out of the eight, which the first 



book, or Ashtaka, consists, of ; Dr. Roer’s translation 
is ^equally limited, stopping with two sections, or 
thirty-two hymns. Both translations were printed 
in India, and are procurable, 4 with some difficulty, 
in this country. Dr. Rosen’s translation of the 
first book is complete as to the text, but his pre- 
mature death interrupted his annotations. Although 
executed with profound scholarship and scrupulous 
exactitude, and every way deserving of reliance as an 
authentic representative of the original, the Sanskrit 
is converted into Latin with such literal fidelity that 
the work scarcely admits of consecutive perusal, and 
is most of value as a reference; the translation is, 
in fact, subordinate to an edition of the text which 
it accompanies on the same page, and the work is 
designed less for general readers than for Sanskrit 
scholars and students of the Veda. The principle 
followed by M. Langlois is the converse of that 
adopted by Dr. Rosen and he has avowedly sought 
to give to the vague and mysterious passages of the 
original, a clear, simple, and intelligible interpretation 
In this it may be admitted that he has admirably 
succeeded; but it may be sometimes thought that 
he has not been sufficiently cautious irnhii rendering 
of the text, and that he has diverged from its phraseo- 
logy, especially as interpreted by the native Scholiast, 
more widely than is advisable. The real value of 
the original Jjes hot so much in its merits as a literary 
composition, as in the illustration which it supplies 
of the most ancient Hindu system of religious worship 
and social organization ; and unless its language 



be preserved as far as may # be consistent with 
intelligibility, erroneous depressions of the facts and 
opinions of primitive Hinduism may be produced. 
It is also to be observed, that M. Langlois has made 
his translation from manuscript copies of the Veda 
and its commentary, which, whilst it has greatly 
enhanced the difficulty and labour of the task, and 
so far adds to the credit of the translator, suggests 
less confidence in the genuineness of the original, as 
the manuscripts are all more or less defective, than 
if the version had been made from a carefully-collated 
edition. The present translation possesses at least 
the advantage over its predecessors of an accurate 
text, and it will be the fault of the translator if he does 
not benefit by it. In converting the original into 
English it has been his aim to adhere as strictly to the 
original Sanskrit as the necessity of being intelligible 
would allow. 

It may be almost superfluous to apprize the 
reader, that the oldest, and nominally the most weighty, 
authorities of the Brahmans for their religion and 
institutions are the Vedas, of which works, four are 
usually enumerated: the Rich, or Rig-Veda; the 

Yajush, or JT ajur-Veda; the Saman, or Santa- Veda; 
and the Atharvana, or Atharva-Veda. Many passages 
are to be found in Sanskrit writings, some in the Vedas 
themselves, w'hich limit the number to three,* and 
there is no doubt that the fourth, or Atharva-Veda, 
although it borrows freely from .the Rich, has little 

* Colebrooke on the Vedas. — Asiatic Researches, viii, 370. 




in common with the c others in its general character 
or in its style; the language clearly indicates a 
different and later era. It may therefore be allowably 
regarded rather as a supplement to three, than as 
one of the four Vedas. 

Of the other three Vedas, each has its peculiar 
characteristics, although they have much in common, 
and they are apparently of different dates, although 
not separated, perhaps, by any very protracted inter- 
val. The Rig- Veda consists of metrical prayers, or 
hymns, termed Suktas, addressed to different divinities, 
each of which is ascribed to a Rishi, a holy or inspired 
author. These hymns are put together with little 
attempt at methodical arrangement, although such 
as are dedicated to the same deity sometimes follow 
in a consecutive series. There is not much connection 
in the stanzas of which they are composed, and the 
same hymn is sometimes addressed to different divi- 
nities. There are, in the Veda itself, no directions 
for the use and application of the Sutras, no notices 
of the occasions on which they are to be employed, 
or of the ceremonies at which they are to be recited : 
these are pointed out by subsequent writers in Suktas, 
or precepts relating to the ritual ; and 3 pven for the 
reputed authors of the hymns, and for the deities 
in whose honour they are composed, we are for the 
most part indebted to independent authorities, 
.especially to an Anukramanika, or index, accompany- 
ing each Veda. The Yajur-Veda differs from the 
Rich, in being more particularly a ritual, or a collec- 
tion of liturgical formulas. The prayers or invoca- 



tions, when not borrowed from the Rich, are mostly 
brief and in prose, and ai*e applicable to the conse- 
cration of the utensils and materials of ceremonial 
worship, as well as to the praise and worship ofv the 
gods. The Sama- VeJa is little else than a recast of 
the Rich, being made up, with very few exceptions, 
of the very same hymns, broken into parts and arranged 
anew, for the purpose of being chanted on different 
ceremonial occasions. As far, also, as the Atharva- 
Veda is to be considered as a Veda, it will, be found 
to comprise many of the hymns of the Rich * From 
the extensive manner, then,' in which the hymns of 
the Rig- Veda enter into the composition of the other 
three, we must naturally infer its priority to them, 
and its greater importance to the history of the Hindu 
religion. In truth, it is to the Rig- Veda that we must 
have recourse principally, if not exclusively, for 
correct notions of the oldest and most genuine forms 
of the institutions, religious or civil, of the Hindus. 

These remarks apply to what are termed the 
Sanhitas of the Vedas, the aggregate assemblage, 
in a single collection, of the prayers, hymns, and 
liturgic formula: of which they are composed. Beside 
the Sanhitas, the designation Veda includes an 
extensive* class of compositions, entitled, collectively, 
Brahmana, which all Brahmanical writers term an 
integral portion of the Veda. According to them, 

* “ By the followers of the Atharvana, th& Richas. or stanzas 
of the Rig-Veda, are numerously included in their own Sanhita 
(or collection ).” — Sayana Acharya, Introduction, Muller’s edition, 
p. 2. 

viii Introduction 

the Veda consists of two component parts, termed 
severally Mantra and Brahmana the first being the 
hymns and formula; aggregated in the Sanhita, the 
second, a collection of rules for the application of 
the Mantras, directions for the performance of parti- 
cular rites, citations of the hymns, or detached stanzas, 
to be repeated on such occasions, and illustrative 
remarks or narratives, explanatory of the origin and 
object of the rite. Of the Brahmana po’tions of the 
Rig-Veda , the most interesting and important is the 
Aitareya Brahmana, in which a number of remarkable 
legends aie detailed, highly illustrative of the condi- 
tion of Brahmanism at the time at which it was com- 
posed. The Aitareya Aranyaka, another Brahmana 
of this Veda, is more mystical and speculative than 
practical or legendary; of a third, the Kaushitaki, 
little is known. The Brahmana of the Yajur-Veda, 
the Shatapatha, partakes more of the character of 
the Aitareya Brahmana ; it is of considerable extent, 
consisting of fourteen books, and contains much 
curious matter. The Brahmanas of the Sdma and 
Atharva Vedas are few and little known, and the 
supplementary portions of these two Vedas are more 
especially the metaphysical and mystipal treatises 
termed Upanishads , belonging to an entirely different 

t As in the Yajna paribhasha of Apastamba, quoted by Sayana, 

“ The name Veda is that of both the Mantra and the Brahmana ; ” 
and again, in the . Mimansa , “ The Brahmana and the Mantra are 
the two parts of the Veda ; that part which is not Mantra is 
Brahmana ; ” this constitutes the definition of the latter. — Intro- 
duction, p. 4, and p. 22, 



state of the Hindu mind from that which the text 
of the Vedas sprang from and encouraged. Con- 
nected with, and dependent upon, the Vedas, generality, 
also are the treatises on grammar, astronomy, into- 
nation, prosody, ritual, and the meaning of obsolete 
words, called the Vedangas ; but these are not portions 
of the Veda itself, but supplementary to it, and, in 
the form in which we have them, are not, perhaps, 
altogether genuine, and, with a few exceptions, are 
not of much importance. Besides thesi; works, 
there are the Pratishakhyas, or treatises on the gram- 
mar of the Veda, and the Sutras, or aphorisms, 
inculcating and describing its practices, the whole 
constituting a body of Vaidik literature, the study of 
which would furnish occupation for a long and labo- 
rious life. A small part only is yet in print. None 
of the Brahmanas are published; neither are the 
Sutras or Pratishakhyas * The Upanishads have been 
more fortunate in finding editors.! The texts of the 
Sanhitas of the Veda are in progress, as, besides 
the present edition of the Rich, an edition of the 
Vajasaneyi portion of the Yajur-Veda has been com- 
menced, by Dr. Weber, at Berlin, the publication of 

* Part of the first Kanda of the Shatapatha Brahmana has been 
printed by Dr. Weber, concurrently with his edition of the text of 
the Yajur-Veda . and it is his intention to complete it. 

f Some of the shorter Upanishads were printed, with trans- 
lations, by Rammohun Roy, and five of thos: of the Yajush have 
been published by M. Poley, Berlin, I84,£. The Brihadaranyaka 
has been printed by the Asiatic Society of Calcutta, under the 
editorship of Dr. Rcer, in their Bibliotheca Indica, and the 
Chhandogya Upanisltad has been begun in the same series. 



which has been also liberally aided by the Court of 
Directors. 1 > 

. The text of the Sanhita of the Sama-Veda, and a 
translation by the Rev. Mr. Stevenson, were pub- 
lished some years since by the Oriental Translation 
Fund, and a more carefully elaborated edition of 
the same, with a translation in German, and a copious 
glossary and index, has been recently published by 
Professor Benfey, of Gottingen. Tn time, therefore, 
we shall be well supplied with the Mantra portion of 
the Veda; but there is yet but a partial and distant 
prospect of our having the Brahmana printed, and 
being thus enabled, from adequate materials, to 
determine how far the whole may be legitimately 
considered as a constituent part of the Veda. 

From a careful examination of the Aitareya 
Brahmana. with an excellent commentary by Sayana 
Acharya, it is sufficiently evident that this work, at 
least, is of a totally distinct description from the col- 
lection of the Mantras or the Sanhita of the Rig-Veda. 
Although, no doubt, of considerable antiquity, it is 
manifestly of a date long subsequent to the original 
Suktas, or hymns, from the manner in which they are 
quoted, not systematically, or continuously, or com- 
pletely, but separately, unconnectedly, and partially, 
a few phrases only being given forming the beginning, 
not even of an entire hymn, but of an isolated stanza, 
occurring in any part of the hymn, or in any part of 
the Sanhita ; xonspquently proving that the Sanhita 
must have been compiled, and widely circulated, and 
generally studied, before such mutilated citations 



could be recognized or verified, by those to whom 
the Brahmana was presented, ft is evident, also, that 
the great body of the Brahma nical ritual must fiaffe 
been sanctioned by established practice, before ihe 
Brahmana could have been compiled, as its main 
object is the application of the detached texts of 
the Sanhita to the performance of the principal 
ceremonies and sacrifices of the Brahmans, enforcing 
their necessity and efficacy by texts and arguments, 
and illustrating their origin and consequences by 
traditional narratives and popular legends, the inven- 
tion and currency of which must have been the work, 
of time, of a very long interval between the Sanhita, 
in which little or nothing of the kind appears, and the 
Brahmana, in which such particulars abound. Again, 
we find in the Brahfnana the whole system of social 
organization developed, the distinction of caste fully 
established, and the Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya, 
and Shuclra repeatedly named by their proper appella- 
tions, and discriminated by their peculiar offices 
and relative stations, as in the code of Manu. A 
cursory inspection of the Shatapatha Brahmana, as 
far as published, and of some of its sections in manu- 
script, shqw# it to be of a character similar to the 
Mtareya, or it may be even, perhaps, of a later era; 
and we may venture to affirm, in opposition to the 
consentient assertions of Brahmanical scholars and 
critics, that neither of these works has the slightest 
claim to be regarded as the counterpart and con- 
temporary of the Sanhita, or as an integral part of 
the Veda, understanding, by that expression, the 

xii Introduction 

primitive record of the religious belief and observances* 
and of the archaic institutions of Hindu society. 

'■ • Whilst acknowledging, with occasional excep- 
tions, the early date of the Brahmanas, and accepting 
them as valuable illustrations of the application of the 
primitive hymns and texts of the Sanhtia, we must 
look to the latter alone as a safe guide in our inquiries 
into the most ancient condition of the Hindus, and 
we must endeavour to convey a more precise notion 
of what is meant by the designation, as it is exemplified 
in the Veda which has been taken as the text of the 
following translation, and which, as has been shown, 
may be regarded as the source and model of the 
other works similarly named. 

According to the credible traditions of the Hindus, 
the Suktas, the prayers and hymns, now collected as a 
Sanhita, had existed in a separate and individual 
form long before they were assembled and arranged 
in the order and connection in which they are now 
met with. In the Rig- Veda, the number of Suktas 
is something above a thousand, containing rather 
more than ten thousand stanzas: they are arranged 
in two methods; one divides them amongst eight 
Khandas (portions); or Ashtakas (eighths); each 
of which is again subdivided into eight Adhyayas, 
or lectures. The other plan classes the Suktas under 
ten Mandalas, or circles, subdivided into rather 
more than a hundred Anuvakas, or sub-sections. 
A further subdivision of the Suktas into Vargas , 
or paragraphs of about five stanzas each, is common 
to both classifications. The hymns are of various 

Introduction xiii 

extent: in one or two instances, a Sukta consists of 
a single stanza ; in some, t>f a number of stanzas ; 
but the average number, as follows from the aboye 
totals of one thousand hymns and ten thousand 
stanzas, is, of course, about ten. The hymns are 
composed in a great variety of metres, several of 
which are peculiar to the Vedas, and the variety and 
richness of which evince an extraordinary cultivation 
of rhythmical contrivance. In general, a hymn is 
addressed to a single deity, but sometimes, to two, 
and occasionally the verses are distributed among a 
greater number. The divinities are various, but the 
far larger number of the hymns in this first book of 
the Rich, and, as far as has been yet ascertained, 
in the other books also, are dedicated to ApNi and 
Indra, the deities, or personifications, of Fire and 
the Firmament. Of the one hundred and twenty-one 
hymns contained in the first Ashtaka, for instance, 
thirty-seven are addressed to Agni alone, or asso- 
ciated with others, and forty-five to Indra; of the 
rest, twelve are addressed to the Maruts, or Winds, 
the friends and followers of Indra, and eleven to 
the Ashwins, the sons of the Sun ; four to the personi- 
fied dawn, fpur to the Vishjvadevas, or collective 
deities, and the rest to inferior divinities, — an appro- 
priation which unequivocally shows the elemental 
character of the religion. In subsequent portions of 
the Veda, a few hymns occur which seem to be of a 
poetical, or fanciful, rather than of a.religkms tendency, 
as one, in which there is a description of the revival 
of the frogs on the setting in of the rainy season. 



and another, in which a gamester complains of his 
ill-success ; but we shall better appreciate the charac- 
ter -of such seeming exceptions when we come to 
them. Each Sukta has for its, reputed author a Rishi, 
or inspired teacher, by whom, in Brahmanical 
phraseology, it has been originally seen, that is, to 
whom it was revealed; the Vedas being, according 
to later mythological fictions, the uncreated dictation 
of Brahma. For the names of the Rishis, except when 
incidentally mentioned in the hymn, we are indebted, 
as above remarked, to ah index of the contents of 
the Veda, which also specifies the metre and the 
number of stanzas of each hymn, and the deity wor- 
shipped; it is an old book, and of high authority, 
but inasmuch as it is of later composition than the 
text, it may not always be regarded as of unques- 
tionable correctness. Most of the Rishis are familiar 
to the legends of the Puranas, as Gotama, Kanwa, 
Bharadwaja, Vasishtha, Vishwamitra, and others. To 
some of these, a number of hymns are attributed; 
to others of less note, and perhaps only of imaginary 
existence, one or two only are ascribed. The arrange- 
ment of the Suktas by Ashtakas does not seem to 
depend upon any fixed principle : of thapbv Mandalas, 
six out of the ten “ circles ” comprise hymns by the 
same individual, or by members of the same family; 
thus the hymns of the second Mandala are ascribed 
to Ghritsamada, the son of Shunahotra, of the 
family of AngirAs ; those of the third, to Vishwa- 
mitra and his sons, or kinsmen ; of the fourth, to 
Vamadbva; of the fifth, to Atri and his sons, who 



are of rather equivocal nomenclature ; of the sixth, 
to Bharadwaja; and of the seventh, to Vasjshtha 
and his descendants. The Rishis of the first and 
three last Mandalas are more miscellaneous; the 
hymns of the ninth Circle are all addressed to Soma, 
the Moon-plant, or its deified impersonation. This 
arrangement has been considered as the older and 
more original of the two; the distribution into 
Ashtakas being intended for the convenience of 
instruction, forming, through their subdivisions 
Adhyayas and Vargas, so many lectures, or lessons, 
to be learned by the scholar. The inference is not 
improbable, but we are scarcely yet qualified to come 
to any positive conclusion. The more usual division 
of the manuscripts is that into Ashtakas, and in neither 
case is the principle of classification so unequi- 
vocally manifested as to suggest reasonable grounds 
for a departure from the established practice. 

The absence of any obvious dependency of the 
Suktas upon one another is sufficiently indicative of 
their separate and unsystematic origin. That they 
are the compositions of the patriarchal sages to whom 
they are ascribed, is sometimes apparent, from allu- 
sions which they make to the name of the author or 
of his family ; but these indications are of unfrequent 
recurrence, and we must trust in general to tradition, 
as preserved by the Anukramanika, for the accuracy 
of the appropriation. Their being addressed to the 
same divinity is a less equivocal test of community 
and they probably were composed in many instances 
by the heads of families, or of schools following a 



similar form of worship, and adoring in preference 
particular deifications. Besides the internal evidence 
’afforded by difference of style, the hymns not un- 
frequently avow a difference, of date ; and we find 
some ascribed to ancient Rishis, while others admit 
their being of new or newest composition. The great 
variety of metres employed shows also a progressive 
development of the powers of the language, which 
could have been the effect only of long and diligent 
cultivation. There can be little doubt, therefore, that 
they range through a considerable interval, although, as 
far as respects their general purport, they belong to 
the same condition of belief, and to a period during 
which no change of any importance took place in 
the national creed. The same divinities are wor- 
shipped in a similar strain, and, with one or two 
doubtful exceptions, which are possibly interpolations, 
or which may admit of explanation, offer nothing 
that is contradictory or incongruous. This is the 
more remarkable, as there can be little doubt that the 
hymns were taught originally orally, and that the 
knowledge of them was perpetuated by the same 
mode of tuition. This is sufficiently apparent from 
their construction : they abound vitfi elliptical 

phrases ; with general epithets, of which the applica- 
tion is far from obvious until explained; with brief 
comparisons, which cannot be appreciated without 
such additional details as a living teacher might be 
expected to supply; and with all those blanks and 
deficiencies which render the written text of the Vedas 
still unintelligible in many passages without the 



assistance of the Scholiast, and # which he is alone 
enabled to fill up by the greater or less fidelity with 
which the traditional explanations of the first Wv&* 
voce interpreters, or, perhaps, of the authors of the 
hymns themselves, have come down to his timd. 
The explanation of a living teacher, or of a com- 
mentator, must have been indispensable to a right 
understanding of the meaning of the Suktas, in many 
passages, from the moment of their first communica- 
tion ; and the probability is in favour of an oral 
instructor, as most in harmony with the unconnected 
and unsystematic currency of the hymns; with the 
restricted use of writing, even if the art were known 
in those early times (a subject of considerable doubt), 
and with the character of Sanskrit teaching, even in 
the present day, in which the study of books is sub- 
ordinate to the personal and traditional expositions 
of the teacher, handed down to him through an 
indefinite series of preceding instructors. 

At last, however, there arrived a period when 
the antiquity of the hymns, the obscurity of their 
style, the peculiarities of the language, and the 
number to which they had multiplied, with the corres- 
ponding difficulties of recollecting and teaching them, 
and possibly also the perception that some venerable 
authority, on which their growing claims to superior 
sanctity might be based, was wanting, suggested to 
the progressive advancement of the literature of the 
Brahmanas, the expediency of rescuing the dispersed 
and obsolete Suktas from the risk of oblivion, and 
moulding them into some consistent and permanent 



shape. The accomplishment of this object is tradi- 
tionally ascribed to the son of Parashara Rishi, 
'Krishna Dwaipayana, thence surnamed Vyasa, the 
Arranger, a person of rather questionable chronology 
and existence, who is supposed to have flourished at 
the time of the great war between the rival families 
of Kuru and Pandu, to the latter of which he was 
attached. The account that is usually given of his 
proceedings shows that his especial province was 
that o1« superintendence, possibly under the patronage 
of the Raja Yudhishthira, after his triumph over the 
Kurus, and that various other learned persons, 
already familiar with the hymns of the respective 
Vedas, were employed to prepare each several 
Sanhita, or collection; thus Paila was appointed 
to collect the Suktas of the Rich, Vaishampayana 
the texts of the Yqjush, Jaimini the hymns of the 
Saman, and Sumantu those of the Atharvana. Each 
of these became the teacher of his own collection, 
and had a succession of disciples, by whom the 
original collection was repeatedly subdivided and 
re-arranged, until the Sanhitas of the Rig-Veda 
amounted to sixteen or twenty; those of the Yqjur- 
Veda, distinguished as twofold, termed the Black and 
the White Yajush, amounted to forty-two, and those 
of the Sama-Veda to twenty-four. There w'ere also 
various Sanhitas of the Atharva-Veda, and besides, 
these, there were numerous Shakhas. or branches, 
of each Sanhita,<siudicd in as many separate schools.* 

* Colebrooke on the Vedas . — Asiatic Researches , vol. iii, 
p. 373, Vishnu Purana , book iii, chap, iv, p. 275. 



The precise nature of these distinctions is not very 
satisfactorily known at presdht, as they have almost 
wholly disappeared, but they consisted apparently* 
of varieties of form, not, of substance, containing the 
same hymns and formulae arranged in a different 
order, according to the conceptions of the teacher 
respecting their historical succession or liturgical 
value, or according to differences in the mode of 
their recitation, some being recited audibly, some 
repeated inaudibly and some being chanted or sung. 
Various readings also seem to have been followed 
by different schools, although not to such an extent 
as materially to affect the identity between the original 
and its descendant. Of the Sanhitas of the Rig- Veda, 
the only one now in use is that ascribed to a teacher 
named Vedamitra, or Shakalya. Whether the 
authorities which profess to detail the multiplicity 
of these compilations be entitled to entire confidence, 
may be matter of question, but the traditions are 
concurrent and consistent, and there can be little 
doubt that there was a time at which the collection, 
and classification, and study of the religious poems, 
which even then bore the stamp of antiquity, did 
form an important and popular branch of the litera- 
ture of the ]5rahmanas, and must have been pursued, 
with extraordinary diligence, zeal, and ability, 
through a protracted interval, anterior to the rise of 
philosophical speculation, mythological fable, poetical 
legends, and traditional history.* • 

* The foundation of the Vedanta philosophy, and the compi- 
lation of the Itihasas and Puranas, are also ascribed to Vyasa. It 



The interest evinced in the collection and pre- 
servation of their ancieftt hymns and formulae is the 
«more remarkable from their having, as far as we can 
yet judge, afforded little countenance to the religious 
and social institutions, which no doubt were fully 
matured at the date of their compilation. It is yet, 
perhaps, scarcely safe to hazard any positive asser- 
tion respecting the system of religious belief and 
practice taught in the Rig-Veda, or the state of society 
which prevailed when its hymns were composed, 
and it were still more indiscreet to risk a negative, 
and deny its sanctioning the leading features of the 
Brahmanical institutes, until we shall have examined 
it throughout, and ascertained beyond dispute that 
no such sanction is to be found in it. In offering 
any opinion on these points, therefore, it must be 
understood that they are derived solely from what is 
actually before us, — the First book of the Rig-Veda, 
now translated,- — and that they are subject to con- 
firmation or to contradiction, according to the further 
evidence that may be produced. It is true that we 
have a somewhat wider field for speculation in the 
other three books, translated by M. Langlois, and 
in detached portions from other books, which have 
been translated and published by other Sanskrit 

would be out of place to enter into any examination of the question 
here, beyond the remark, that there seems to be little satisfactory 
evidence for the tradition, several of the Puranas being, in fact,, 
ascribed to other persons. The tradition may have originated in 
the impulse given to the general cultivation of Sanskrit literature by 
the school, or schools, of Vaidik criticism. 



scholars, epecially by Mr. Colebrooke, Professor 
Burr.ouf, and Dr. Roth; th*e latter, however, from 
their partial and isolated state, are necessarily hn-» 
perfect authorities; and, of the former, it may be 
observed, that they do not seem to offer anything 
materially at variance with the tenor of the first 
Ashtaka. It will be sufficient, therefore, for the 
present to confine ourselves to the evidence at hand, 
and deduce from it a few of the most important 
conclusions to which it appears to lead, regarding 
the religious and mythological belief of the people 
of India, whose sentiments and notions the Suktas 
enunciate, and the circumstances of their social 
condition, to which it occasionally, though briefly, 

The worship which the Suktas describe compre- 
hends offerings, prayer, and praise; the former are 
chiefly oblations and libations, — clarified butter 
poured on fire, and the expressed and fermented 
juice of the Soma plant, presented in ladles to the 
deities invoked, in what manner, does not exactly 
appear, although it seems to have been sometimes 
sprinkled on the fire, sometimes on the ground, or 
Tather on ttyamKusha, or sacred grass, strewed on the 
floor, and in all cases the residue was drunk by the 
assistants. The ceremony takes place in the dwelling 
of the worshipper, in a chamber appropriated to 
the purpose and probably to the maintenance of a 
perpetual fire, although the freqtient 'allusions to 
the occasional kindling of the sacred flame are rather 



at variance wih this practice. 1 * There is no men- 
tion of any temple, or a'ny reference to a public place 
«of > worship, and it is clear that the worship was 
entirely domestic. The worshipper, or Yajarmm,. 
does not appear to have taken of necessity any part 
personally in the ceremony, and there is a goodly 
array of officiating priests, — in some instances seven, 
in some sixteen, — by whom the different ceremonial- 
rites are performed, and by whom the Mantras, or 
prayers* or hymns, are recited. That animal victims, 
were offered on particular occasions, may be inferred 
from brief and obscure allusions in the hymns of 
the first book,f and it is inferrible from some passages, 
that human sacrifices were not unknown, although 
infrequent, and sometimes typical; but these are 
the exceptions, and the habitual offerings may be 
regarded as consisting of clarified butter and the juice 
of the Soma plant. 

The Sukta almost invariably combines the- 
attributes of prayer and praise; the power, the vast- 
ness, the generosity, the goodness, and even the 
personal beauty of the deity addressed, are described 1 
in highly laudatory strains, and his past bounties or 
exploits rehearsed and glorified ; in reouital of which 
commendations, and of the libations or oblations 
which he is solicited to accept, and in approval of the 

* It is said in one place, however, that men preserved fire 
constantly kindkd in their dwellings (I. 12. 9. 4). 

t In the second Ashtaka , we have two hymns on the occasion 
of the Ashwamedha , a sacrifice of a horse. (See Translation of 
M. Langlois, Lecture III, Hymns v, vi.) 



rite in his honour, at which his presence is invoked, 
he is implored to bestow blessings on the person who 
has instituted the ceremony, and sometimes, but not 
so cqmmonly, also on the author or reciter of the 
prayer. The blessings prayed for are, for the most 
part, of a temporal and personal description, — 
wealth, food, life, posterity, cattle, cows, and horses; 
protection against enemies, victory over them, and 
sometimes their destruction, particularly when they 
are represented as inimical to the celebration of 
religious rites, or, in other words, people not pro- 
fessing the same religious faith.* There are a few 
indications of a hope of immortality and of future 
happiness, but they are neither frequent nor, in general, 
distinctly announced, although the immortality of 
the gods is recognized, and the possibility ol its 
attainment by human beings exemplified in the case 
of the demigods termed Ribhus, elevated, for their 
piety, to the rank of divinities. Protection against 
■evil spirits ( Rakshasas ) is also requested, and in one 
or two passages Yama and his office as ruler of the 
dead are obscurely alluded to. There is little demand 
for moral benefactions, although in some few in- 
stances hatr?d*of untruth and abhorrence of sin are 
expressed, a hope is uttered that the latter may be 
repented of or expiated, and the gods are in one 
hymn solicited to extricate the worshipper from sin 
of every kind. The main objects of the prayers, 
however, are benefits of a more worldly and physical 

* Note on I. 10. 1. 8. 



character: the tope in which these are requested 
indicates a quiet confidence in their being granted, 
c as a return for the benefits which the gods are sup- 
posed to derive from the offerings made to them, 
in gratifying their bodily wants, and from the praises 
which impart to them enhanced energy and aug- 
mented power; there is nothing, however, which 
denotes any particular potency in the prayer or hymn, 
so as to compel the gods to comply with the desires 
of the worshipper ; nothing of that enforced necessity, 
which makes so conspicuous and characteristic a 
figure in the Hindu mythology .of a later date, by 
which the performance of austerities for a continued 
period constrains the gods to grant the desired boon, 
although fraught with peril and even destruction to 

The next question is, who are the gods to whom 
the praises and prayers are addressed ? and here we 
find also a striking difference between the mythology 
of the Rig- Veda and that of the heroic poems and 
Puranas. The divinities worshipped are not un- 
known to later systems, but they there perform very 
subordinate parts, whilst those deities who are the 
great gods — the Dii major es — of the subsequent 
period, are either wholly unnamed in the Veda, or 
are noticed in an inferior and different capacity. 
The names of Shiva, of MahadevA, of Durga, of 
Kali, of Rama, of Krishna, never occur, as far as 
we are yet aware*, we have a Rudra, who, in after- 
times, is identified with Shiva, but who, even in the 
Puranas, is of very doubtful origin and identification,. 



whilst in the Veda he is described as the father of the 
winds, and is evidently a form df either Agni or Indra ; 
the epithet Kapardin, which is applied to him, 
appears, indeed, to have i some relation to a charac- 
teristic attribute of Shiva, — the wearing cf his hair- 
in a peculiar braid; but the term has probably in 
the Veda a different signification — one now forgotten, 
— although it may have suggested in after-time the 
appearance of Shiva in such a head-dress, as identified 
with Agni; for instance, Kapardin may intimate 
his head being surrounded by radiating flame, or 
the word may be an interpolation ; at any rate, no 
other epithet applicable to Shiva occurs, and there 
is not the slightest allusion to the form in which, 
for the last ten centuries at least, he seems to have 
been almost exclusively worshipped in India, — that of 
the Linga or Phallus : neither is there the slightest hint 
of another important feature of later Hinduism, the 
Trimurti, or Tri-une combination of Brahma, Vishnu, 
and Shiva, as typified by the mystical syllable Om, 
although, according to high authority on the religions 
of antiquity, the Trimurti was the first element in the 
faith of the Hindus, and the second was the Lingam * 
The chief^deities of the Veda are, as has been 
noticed above, Agni and Indra. The forjner com- 
prises the element of Fire under three aspects: 1st, 
as it exists on earth, not only as culinary or religious 
fire, but as the heat of digestion and of life, and the 
vivifying principle of vegetation ; 2nd, as it exists 

* Creuzer, Religions de V Antiquite , book i, chap, i, p. 140. 



in the atmosphere, or mid-heaven, in the form of 
lightning; and, 3rd, as it is manifested in the heavens, 
as -light, the sun, the dawn, and the planetary bodies. 
The Sim, it is true, is acknowledged and hymned as 
a divinity, the soul of all moveable and immoveable 
beings, and his manifestations are already known as 
Adityas, including several of the names preserved 
in the Puranas ; as Vishnu, Mitra, Varuna, Arya- 
man, Pushan, Bhaga, and Twashtri, who are 
nothing more than the Sun diversified, as presiding 
over each month of the solar year. Still, however, 
the Sun does not hold that prominent place in the 
Vaidik liturgy which he seems to have done in that 
of the ancient Persians, and he is chiefly venerated 
as the celestial representative of Fire. 

If we advert more particularly to the attributes 
of Agni, we find that confusion in them which might 
be expected from the various characters he fills. As 
the fire of sacrifice, he is the servant of both men 
and gods, conveying the invocations and the offerings 
of the former to the latter; he is the Hotri, or priest, 
who summons the gods to the ceremony ; the Purohita, 
or family priest, who performs the rite on behalf of 
the master of the house. Personifiedvas a divinity, 
he is immortal, enjoying perpetual youth, endowed 
with infinite power and splendour, the granter of 
victory, of wealth, of cattle, of food, of health, of 
life; he travels in a car drawn by red horses; he 
is the source and diffuser of light, the destroyer and 
reviver of all things. He is known under many 
and various appellations, and many inferior deities 

Introduction xxvii 

are considered to be merely his manifestations. . 
The acts and attributes of other deities are not un- 
frequently ascribed to him (I. 12. 2); he may assume * 
the form or nature of aijy other divinity (I. 12. 5. 3V 
who is invoked to a ceremonial rite. He is identified - 
with Yama, Varuna, Mitra; with the Sun, and 
with the eternal Vedhas (I. 12. 8). A curious series 
of allusions, evidently of a remote antiquity, identifies 
him with Angiras, who, in the Veda, as well as in 
the Puranas, is a patriarch and Rishi, and the founder 
of a celebrated holy family, to members of which 
many of the hymns of the Veda are attributed. 
Angiras is in one place (I. 1. 1. 6) used instead of the 
repetition of the name Agni, and in another, Agni 
is expressly called the first and chiefcst Angiras 
(I. 7. 1. 2). The meaning of this myth is apparently 
explained in another passage, in which it is said 
that the Angirasas first made sure of Agni, whence 
subsequent votaries preserved his fires and practised 
his rites (; which clearly intimates that 
this priestly family, or school, either introduced 
worship with fire, or extended and organized it in 
the various forms in which it came ultimately to 
be observed, ^he tenor of the legend, as it was 
afterwards expanded in the Brahmanas and heroic 
poems, equally intimates the latter, and refers the 
multiplication, or universality, of the occasions on 
which fire constituted an essential element of the wor- 
ship of the Hindus, to Angiras and ‘His descendants.* 

* See the passage of the Mahahharata , cited in note on I. 1. 1. 6. 

xxviii Introduction 

Of the attributes ,of Agni, in general, the mean- 
ing is sufficiently obvious; those of a physical 
‘character speak for themselves, and the allegory 
conveyed by others is either palpable enough, as 
when Agni is said to be the son of the Wind, or 
springs naturally from Hindu notions, as when he 
is said to be both the father and the son of the gods, 
nourishing them like a father by the oblations he 
bears to them, while the act of offering those obla- 
tions is the duty of a son. The legend of his hiding 
in the waters, through fear of the enemies of the 
gods, although alluded to in more than one place 
(;, is not very explicitly nar- 
rated, and its more circumstantial detail is probably 
the work of the Bralrmanas ; the allusions of the 
Suktas may be a figurative intimation of the latent 
heat existing in water, or a misapprehension of a 
natural phenomenon which seems to have made a 
great impression in later times, — the emission of 
flame from the surface of water either in the shape 
of inflammable air, or as the result of submarine 
volcanic action.* 

The deification of Indra is more consistent, 
as he has no incongruous functions te -discharge : he 
is a personification of the phenomena of the firma- 
ment, particularly in the capacity of sending down 
rain. This property is metaphorically described as 
a conflict with the clouds, which are reluctant to 
part with their watery stores until assailed and pens- 

* See the legend of Aurva, Vishnu Purana , p. 290, note. 



trated by the thunderbolt of Indra. As in all 
allegories, the language of fast and fiction is apt to 
be blended and confounded in the description <of 
this encounter, and the cloud, personified as a demon 
named Ahi, or Vritra, is represented as combating- 
In dr A with all the attributes of a personal enemy, 
and as suffering in the battle mutilation, wounds, 
and death. In the versions of the conflict found 
in later works, and in the heroic poems and Puranas, 
i he original allegory is lost sight of altogether, and 
Vritra becomes a. real personage, an Asura, or 
king of Asuras, who wages a doubtful war with the 
king of the gods. This contest with the clouds seems 
to have suggested to the authors of the Suktas the 
martial character of Indra on other occasions, and 
he is especially described as the god of battles, the 
giver of victory to his worshippers, the destroyer 
of the enemies of religious rites, and the subverter 
of the cities of the Asuras. A popular myth repre- 
sents him also as the discoverer and rescuer of the 
cows, either of the priests or of the gods, which had 
been stolen by an Asura named Pani, or Vala. Like 
Agni, he is the possessor and bestower of riches, 
and the granter of all temporal blessings, when 
devoutly worshipped, and when propitiated by the 
Soma juice, which seems to be more especially 
appropriated to him, and which has the effect of 
inspiring him with animation and courage. Some 
of his attributes are obviously allegorical references 
to the locality of the firmament, as when he is. said 
to have elevated the sun and fixed the constellations 



in the sky, — to be more vast than heaven and earth, 
and to have sundered 1 them when originally united 
(I» 11. 5. 7); of another, which refers to him in 
the guise of a ram, no very satisfactory explanation 
is given, although, as remarked by M. Neve, the 
metamorphosis suggests some analogy between him 
and Jupiter Ammon. His taking part in the wars 
of tribes and princes, and insuring the triumph of 
those he befriends, belongs to the poetical part of the 
personification, and arises, no doubt, from that 
character for personal valour derived from his 
metaphorical defeat of Vritra, and the real instru- 
mentality of the electricity of the atmosphere in the 
descent of fertilizing showers. 

The Sun, Surya, or Savitri, occupies a much 
less conspicuous place in Hindu worship than we 
should have anticipated from the visible magnificence 
of that luminary, and his adoration by neighbouring 
nations. We have, in the first book, only three 
Suktas addressed to him individually, and they con- 
vey no very strikingly expressive acknowledgment 
of his supremacy. Like Agni and Indra, he is the 
giver of temporal blessings to his worship]- es; he 
is the source of light, moving with exceeding swiftness 
between heaven and earth, in a chariot drawn by 
two white-footed horses, or, as it is sometimes said, 
by seven, meaning the seven days of the week. He 
is said to be the healer of leprosy, which may have 
given rise to the more modern legend of his having 
cured Samba, the son of Krishna, of that disease, 
if it be not an unauthorized graft upon the original 



stem. He is represented as golden-eyed and golden- 
handed, mere figures of speech, although a legend is 
devised to account for the latter. 

The text of the Veda, in one remarkable passage 
in the first book, recognizes a difference of degree in 
the relative dignity of the gods, and even in their age, 
enunciating veneration to the great gods, to the 
lesser, to the young, and to the old (T. 6. 4. 13). 
Among the lesser gods, an important share of adora- 
tion is enjoyed by a group avowedly subordinate to 
Indra, involving an obvious allegory, — the Maruts, 
or Winds, who are naturally associated with the 
firmament; we have, indeed, a god of the wind in 
Vayu, but little is said of him, and that chiefly in 
association with Indra, with whom he is identified 
by Scholiasts on the Veda; the Maruts, on 
the contrary, are frequently addressed as the 
attendants and allies of Indra, confederated with 
him in the battle with Vritra, and aiding and en- 
couraging his exertions; they are called the sons of 
Prishni, or the earth, and also Rudras, or sons of 
Rudra; the meaning of which affiliations is not very 
clear, although no doubt it is allegorical ; they are 
also associated, on some occasions, with Acni, an 
obvious metaphor, expressing the action of wind 
upon fire. It is also intimated that they were origi- 
nally mortal, and became immortal in consequence 
of worshipping Agni, which is also easy of explana- 
tion. Their share in the production of rain, and 
their fierce ar.d impetuous nature, are figurative 
representations of physical phenomena. The Scholi- 

xxxii Introduction 

ast endeavours to connect the history of their origin 
with that narrated in the Puranas, but without success ; 
,an4 the latter, absurd as it is, seems to have no better 
foundation than one proposed etymology of the 
name, — “ Do not (ma) weep ( rodih ),” which is merely 
fanciful although it is not much worse than other 
explanations of the name which commentators have 
suggested (note on T. 14. 4. 1). 

The Adityas, or lesser Suns, are especially the 
sons of Aditi, who has, in general, the character 
of mother of the gods, identified in this part of the 
Veda with Earth, or even with the Universe, in which 
case she is evidently allegorical. Little is said of 
the Adityas collectively, but some of them are indivi- 
dually addressed. There is no separate hymn to 
Vishnu, but he is mentioned as Trivikrama, or he 
who took three steps or paces, which Mr. Colebrooke 
thought might have formed the groundwork of the 
Pauranik legend of the dwarf Avatar. It may have 
been suggestive of the fiction; but no allusion to the 
notion of Avatars occurs in the Veda, and there can 
be little doubt that the three steps here referred to 
are the three periods of the sun’s course — his rise, 
culmination, and setting.'* Mitra is never addressed 
alone; he appears amongst the Vis&wadevas, or 
gods collectively, or associated with Varuna and 
Ary am an ; he is said by the Scholiast to be a divi- 
nity presiding over the day, and, in combination with 

* It is expressly so stated by Durgacharyci , in his commentary 
on the Nirukta.—Sec Burnouf, Introduction to the 3rd vo!. of the 
Bhagavata Parana, p. xxii. 

Introduction xxxiii 

Varuna, a dispenser of water. Varuna occupies a 
rather more conspicuous place in the hymns; he 
is said to be the divinity pi esiding over the night, ard 
in that capacity, probably, the constellations • are 
called his holy acts, and the moon, it is said, moves 
by his command. The title of king or monarch. 
Raja or Samrat, is very commonly attached to his 
name: with Mitra, he is called the lord of light, 
and he supports the light on high and makes wide 
the path of the sun : he grants wealth, averts evil, and 
protects cattle; in all which we have no trace of the 
station assigned to him in later mythology, of sovereign 
of the waters. In one rather obscure passage, how- 
ever, it is said of him that, abiding in the ocean, he 
knows the course of ships, but he is also said, in the 
same stanza, to know the flight of birds and the 
periodical succession of the months. The notions 
entertained of Varuna, beyond that of his connection 
with the sun, do not appear to be very precise. 
Aryaman is never named alone, most usually with 
Mitra and Varuna; we have a text identifying him 
with the sun, and he is said by the Scholiast to preside 
over twilight. Pushan, besides being occasionally 
named, has, in the first book, a hymn to himself, 
the main purport of which is to solicit his protection 
on a journey, particularly against robbers: he is 
said to be the divinity, or rather, perhaps, the Aditya, 
or sun, presiding over the earth. The connection of 
the personified dawn, or Ushas, - or, rather, many 
dawns, or Ushasas, with the sun, forms a natural portion 
of solar adoration; several hymns are addressed to 



her, the language of which involves no mystery, but 
is dictated by the obvious^ properties of the morning, 
qot unfrequently picturesquely and poetically 

. Demigods, who are much" more frequently than 
any of the preceding, except the Maruts, the objects 
of laudation, are the two Ashwins, the sons of the 
Sun according to later mythology, but of whose 
origin we have no such legend in the Veda, as far as 
we have, yet gone. They are said, indeed, in one 
place, to have the sea ( Sindhu ) for their mother; but 
this is explained to intimate their identity, as affirmed 
by some authorities, with the sun and moon, which 
rise, apparently, out of the ocean; they are called 
Dasras , — destroyers either of foes or of diseases, for 
they are the physicians of the gods; they are also 
called Nasatyas , — in whom there is no untruth. 
They are represented as ever young, handsome, 
travelling in a three-wheeled and triangular car, 
drawn by asses, and as mixing themselves up with 
a variety of human transactions, bestowing benefits 
upon their worshippers, enabling them to foil or 
overcome their enemies, assisting them in their need, 
and extricating them from difficulty and danger. 
Their business seems to lie more on earth than in 
heaven, and they belong, by their exploits, more to 
heroic than celestial or solar mythology; they are, 
however, connected in various passages with the 
radiance of the sun, and arc said to be precursors of 
the dawn, at which season they ought to be worshipped 
with libations of Soma juice. 



The Sabeism of the, Hindus, if it may be so 
termed, differs entirely from that of the Chaldeans, 
in omitting the worship of the planets; the constella- 
tions are never named as objects of veneration, or 
worship, and although the moon appears to be 
occasionally intended under the name Soma, parti- 
cularly when spoken of as scattering darkness, yet 
the name and the adoration are in a much less equi- 
vocal manner applied to the Scma plant, the acid 
asclepias, actual or personified. The great importance 
attached to the juice of this plant is a singular part 
of the ancient Hindu ritual; it is sufficiently promi- 
nent even in this portion of the Rig- Veda , . but almost 
the whole of the Sama-Veda is devoted to its eulogy, 
and this is, no doubt, little more than a repetition 
of the Soma Mandala of the Rich. The only expla- 
nation of which it is susceptible is the delight, as well 
as astonishment, which the discovery of the exhila- 
rating, if not inebriating, properties of the fermented 
juice of the plant must have excited in simple minds 
on first becoming acquainted with its effects. This, 
however, is, of course, wholly different from any 
adoration of the moon or planets as celestial lumi- 
naries, in which they do not appear to have partici- 
pated with the sun. 

Indra and Savitri thus have their respective 
satellites dependent upon and identifiable with their 
principals. Agni does not seem > to have any sub- 
ordinate multiples, except in the rather anomalous 
deifications called Apris, which, although including 
certain female divinities and insensible objects, such 



as the doors of the sacrificial hall, are considered to 
be impersonations of Agni. Brahmanaspati also, 
a§ far as we can make out his character from the 
occasional stanzas addressed ,to him, seems to be 
identifiable with Agni, with the additional attribute 
of presiding over prayer; the characteristic proper- 
ties of this divinity, however, are not very distinctly 
developed in this portion of the Veda. 

Of Rudra, also, the character is equivocal ; but 
it may bfc doubted if it partakes, in any remarkable 
degree, of that fierceness and wrath which belong to 
the Rudra of a later date; he is termed, it is true, 
the slayer of heroes, but so is Indra : the effects of 
his anger upon men and animals are deprecated; 
but he is also appealed to as wise and bountiful, 
the author of fertility and giver of happiness, and his 
peculiar characteristics are evidently his presiding 
over medicinal plants and removal of disease, attri- 
butes of a beneficent, not of a malignant and irascible 
deity. As above remarked, the Maruts, or winds, 
are termed his sons; and this relationship would 
assimilate him to Indra. There is also a class of 
inferior deities, termed Rudras, who in one passage 
are worshippers of Agni, and in another are the 
followers of Indra; being the same as the Maruts. 
So far, therefore, Rudra might be identified with 
Indra; but we have the name applied unequivocally 
to Agni in a hymn exclusively dedicated to that 
divinity (I. 6. 4. 10° and the note on it). The term 
denotes, according to the Scholiast, the ‘terrible 
Agni’; but there is no warrant for this in the text. 



and we may be content, therefore, with the latter, 
to regard Rudra as a forfti or* denomination of fire. 

Of the other divine personifications which. occur 
in this first book, the particulars are too few to 
authorize any unexceptionable generalization ; some 
of them are such as every imaginative religion creates 
— personifications of earth, ocean, night, and of 
inanimate things. Female divinities make their 
appearance, but they are merely named, without 
anything being related of them, and we haj/e, as yet, 
no sufficient materials on which to construct any 
theory of their attributes and character. The only 
exception is that of Ila, who is called the daughter 
of MaNu, and his instructress in the performance of 
sacrifice; but what is meant by this requires further 
elucidation. The Vishwadevas, or universal gods, 
do not appear in this part of the Veda as the particular 
class which is referred to by Manu and in the Pur anas, 
but merely as the aggregation of the divinities else- 
where separately named, or Indra, Agni, Mitra, 
Varuna, and the rest. 

We thus find that most, if not all, the deities to 
whom the hymns of the Rich, as far as those of the 
first Ashtaka, extend, are resolvable into three, — 
Agni, or fire; Indra, or the firmament; and the 
Sun; or, indeed, as the sun is only a manifestation of 
fire, we might resolve all the forms into two,— Agni 
and Indra. We may, however, consent to take 
the assertion of Yaska, that there are in the Veda 
“three gods: Agni on the earth, Vayu or Indra 
in the sky, and Surya in heaven; of each of whom 

xxxviii Introduction 

there are many appellations expressive of his great- 
ness, and of the variety of, his functions. ” There is 
nothing, however, confining our negation to the 
'present portion of the Rich, to warrant the other 
assertion of Yaska, that “ all tKe gods are but parts 
of oneafma, or soul subservient to the diversification of 
-ef-dm- praises through the immensity and variety 
of his attributes.”* The Aimkramanika goes further, 
and affirms that there is but one deity, the Great 
Soul ( Mahan Atma), quoting, however, in support of 
this doctrine, a passage which, in its proper place, 
applies only to the Sun, who is there called (T. 16. 10. 
1) “ the soul of all that moves or is immoveable,” 
an expression which is probably to be figuratively, 
not literally, apprehended. 

The notion of a soul of the world belongs, no 
doubt, to a period long subsequent to the composition 
of the Suktas. Whether their authors entertained 
any belief in a creator and ruler of the universe, 
certainly does net appear from any passage hitherto 
met with; but, at the same time, the objects of the 
early worship of the Hindus, — fire, the sky, the Soma 
plant, even the sun, — are addressed in language so 
evidently dictated by palpable physical attributes, 
or by the most obvious allegorical per soft 'fications, 
that we can scarcely think they were inspired by any 
deep feeling of veneration or of faith, or that the 
adoration of such mere ar.d manifest elements con- 
templated them, in any other light than as types of 

* Nirukta , Dahata Kanda , u 4 , 5 , 



the power of a creator. However extravagant the 
expressions, we can scarcely imagine them to have 
been uttered in earnest, particularly as proedieditfg 
from men of evident talent and ob; creation, endowed 
with more than common intellectual activity and 
acuteness of perception. 

Leaving the question of the primary religion of 
the Hindus for further investigation, we may now 
consider what degree of light this portion of the Veda 
reflects upon their social ai d political tordition. 
It has been a favourite notion wiih seme eminent 
scholars, that the Hindus, at the period of the com- 
position of the hymns, were a nomadic and pastoral 
people. This opinion seems to rest solely upon 
the frequent solicitations lor feed, and for horses 
and cattle, which are found in the hymns, and is 
unsupported by any more positive statements. That 
the Hindus were not Nomads, is evident from the 
repeated allusions to fixed dwellings, and villages, 
and towns; and we can scarcely suppose them to 
have been in this respect behind their barbarian 
enemies, the overthrew of whose numerous cities 
is so often spoken of. A pastoral people they might 
have been; to some extent; but they were also, and, 
perhaps, in a still greater degree, an agricultural 
people, as is evidenced by their supplicctiors for 
abundant rain and for the fertility of the eerth, and 
by the mention of agricultural products, particularly 
barley (1. 5. 6. 15). They were* a manufacturing 
people; for the art of weaving, the labours of the 
carpenter, and the fabrication of golden and of iron 

xl Introduction 

mail, are alluded to;,, and, what is more remarkable, 
they were a maritime and mercantile people. 

' Not only are the Suktas familiar with the ocean 
and its phenomena, but we have merchants described 
as pressing earnestly on board ship, for the sake of 
gain (I. 10. 6. 2); and we have a naval expedition 
against a foreign island, or continent ( dwipa ), frus- 
trated by a shipwreck (I. 17. 1. 3-5). They must 
also have made some advance in astronomical com- 
putation,' as the adoption of an intercalary month, 
for the purpose of adjusting the solar and lunar 
years to each other, is made mention of (I. 6. 2. 8 
and note thereon). Civilization must have therefore 
made considerable progress; and the Hindus must 
have spread to the sea-coast, possibly along the Sindhu 
or Indus, into Cutch and Guzerat, before they could 
have engaged in navigation and commerce. That 
they had extended themselves from a more northern 
site, or that they were a northern race, is rendered 
probable from the peculiar expression used, on more 
than one occasion, in soliciting long life, — when the 
worshipper asks for a hundred winters ( himas ), a 
boon not likely to have been desired by the natives 
of a warm climate (I. 11. 7. 14). They appear, also, 
to have been a fair-complexioned people, at least, 
comparatively, and foreign invaders of India, as it 
is said (I. 15. 7. 18) that Indra divided the fields 
among his w/utc-complexioned friends, after des- 
troying the indigenous barbarian races, for such 
there can be little doubt we are to understand by 
the expression Dasyu, which so often recurs, and 

Introduction xli 

which is often defined to signify one who not only 
does not perform religious* rites, but attempts to 
disturb them, and harass their performers : the latter 
are the Aryas, the Aryfi, or respectable, or Hindu, 
or Arian race. Dasyu, in later language, signifies a 
thief, a robber, and Ary a, a wealthy or respectable 
man; but the two terms are constantly used in the 
text of the Veda as contrasted with each other, and 
as expressions of religious and political antagonists, 
requiring, therefore, no violence of conjecture to 
identify the Dasyus with the indigenous tribes of 
India, refusing to adopt the ceremonial of the Aryas, 
a more civilized, but intrusive race, and availing 
themselves of every opportunity to assail them, to 
carry off their cattle, disturb their rites, and impede 
their progress; to little purpose, it should seem, as 
the Aryas commanded the aid of Jndra, before 
whose thunderbolt the numerous cities, or hamlets, 
of the Dasyus W'ere swept away. 

Wc have no particular intimation of the political 
condition of the Hindus, except the specification of 
a number of names of princes, many of which are 
peculiar to the Veda, and differ from those of the 
heroic poems and Puranas: a few are identical, 

but the nomenclature evidently belongs to a period 
anterior to the construction of the dynasties of the 
Sun and Moon, no allusion to which thus far occurs. 
The princes named are sometimes described as in 
hostility with each other, and the condition of the 
provinces of India occupied by the Hindus was no 
doubt the same, which it continued to be until the 

xlii Introduction 

Mohammedan conquest, — parcelled out amongst in- 
significant prircipalities, under petty and contending 

Upon a subject of primary importance in the 
history of Hindu society. — the distinctions of caste, — 
the language of the Suktas, of the first Ashtaka at 
least, is by no means explicit. Whenever collectively 
alluded to, mankind are said to be distinguished 
into five sorts, or classes, or, literally, five men, or 
beings (pane ha kshitayah). The commentator ex- 
plains this term to denote the four castes, Brahmana, 
Ksliatriya, Vaishya, and Shudra, and the barbarian, 
or Nishada ; but Sayana, of course, expresses the 
received impressions of his own age. We do not 
meet with the denominations Ksliatriya or Shudra in 
any text of the first book, nor with that of Vaishya ; 
for Visit, which does occur, is there a synoryme of 
man in general. Brahmana is met with, but in what 
sense is questionable. In the neuter ferm Brahma, 
it usually implies prayer or praise, or sacrificial foed, 
or, in one place, preservation (I. 15. 12. 15); in its 
masculine form Brahma, it occurs as the praiser or 
reciter of the hymn (1. 13. 7. 1), or as the particular 
priest, so denominated, who presides ojt§r the cere- 
monial of a sacrifice (1. 3. 3. 1); and in neither case 
does it necessarily imply a Brahmana by caste; for 
that the officiating priests might not be Brahmanas, 
appears from the part taken by Vishwamitra at 
the sacrifice of Shunahshepas, who, although, 
according to tiadition, by birth a Ksliatriya, exercises 
the functions of the priesthood. There is one phrase 



which is in favour of considering the Brahmana as 
the member of a caste, as distinguished from that of 
the military caste (I. 16. 3. 7): “If you, Indra ajid 
Agni, have ever delighted in a Brahmana or a Raja, 
then come hither ” ; but even this can scarcely be. 
regarded as decisive. A hymn that occurs in a sub- 
sequent part of the Veda has, however, been translated 
by Mr. Colebrocke, in which the four castes are 
specified by name, and the usual fable of their origin 
from Brahma alluded to.* Further research is 
necessary, therefore, before a final sentence can be 

From this survey of the contents of the first 
book of the Rig-Veda, although some very important 
questions remain to be answered, it is indisputably 
evident that the hymns it comprises represent a form 
of religious worship, and a state of society, very 
dissimilar to those we meet with in all the other 
scriptural authorities of the Hindus, whether 
Brahmanas, Upanishads, Itihasas or heroic pcems, or 
Puranas. Various notions, and personifications, and 
persons, have, no doubt, been adopted from the Veda, 
and transmitted to subsequent periods, although 
not unfrequently with important modifications; but 
the great mass of the ritual, all the most popular 
deities, possibly the principal laws and distinctions of 

* In the Purusha Sukta , in the eighth Ash taka, we have this 
verse : “ His mouth became a Brahmana , bis arm was made a 
Kshatriya , his thigh was transformed into a Vcishya, fre m his feet 
sprung the Shudrc.— Colebrooke on the Religious Ceremonies of the 
Hindus, Asiatic Researches , vol. vii. p. 251. 



society, and the whole body of the Heroic and Pauranik 
dramatis persona, have no place, no part, in the 
4 , Suktas of the Rig-Veda. That the latter preceded the 
former by a vast interval, is therefore a necessary 
inference; for, the immense and complicated machi- 
nery of the whole literature and mythology of the 
Hindus must have been of gradual and slow' develop- 
ment; and as many of the genealogical and historical 
traditions preserved by the Rdmayana , Mahabharaia, 
the poerns, plays, and Pnranas, are not likely to be 
mere inventions, but may have had their foundations 
in fact, then the course of events, the extension of the 
Hindus through India, the origin and succession of 
regal dynasties, and the formation of powerful princi- 
palities, all unknown to the Sanhita, are equally 
indicative of the lapse of centuries between tire com- 
position of the Suktas and the date of the earliest 
works that are subsequent to the great religious, 
social, and political changes which, in the interval, 
had taken place. If the hymns of the Sanhita are 
genuine, — and there is no reason why they should 
not be so; if there is any shadow of truth in the 
historical portions of the Ramayana and Mahabharata, 
— and there must be some; a thousand years would 


not be too long an interval for the altered conditions 
which are depictured in the older and in the more 
recent compositions. Considerations deduced from 
the probable progress of Hindu literature are calcu- 
lated to confirm this view of the distance that sepa- 
rates the age of the Veda from that of the later writings, 
and in this manner to lead to an approximation to 



the era of the former. The Suktas themselves are 
confessedly the compositibns of various periods, 
as we might conclude from internal evidence,* and 
were probably falling yito forgetfulness, before they 
were collected into the Sanhitas. We then have a 
succession of schools engaged in collecting, arranging, 
and remodelling them, after which come the Brah- 
manas, citing their contents in a manner which proves 
that their collective compilation had become exten- 
sively current and was readily recognizabl*. 

After the Brahmanas, come the Sutras, rules for 
the application of the passages cited in the Brahmanas 
to religious ceremonies; the works of authors, to 
all of whom a high antiquity is assigned, — Apastamba > 
Kaiyayaua, and others, who quote the Brahmanas as 
their authorities. Of the philosophical Sutras, the 
Sankhya, which seems to be the oldest system, is, 
perhaps, independent of the Veda, but the Purva and 
Uttara Mimansas are declaredly intended to expound 
and elucidate the philosophy and the practices of 
the Veda, and are therefore necessarily subsequent to 
the Sanhita and Brahmana, although attributed to 
names of ancient celebrity, — Jaimini and Vyasa. 
These works were possibly contemporary with the 
liturgical aphorisms, the Vedanta Sutras being also 
posterior to the Upanishads. Now all these writings 
are older than Manu, whose cosmogony is evidently 
a system of eclecticism compiled from the Upanishads , 
the Sankhya, and the Vedanta, and many of whose 
laws, I learn from Dr. Muller, are found in the 
liturgical Sutras; yet Manu notices no Avatars, no 

xlvi Introduction 

Rama, no Krishna, ,and is consequently admitted to 
be long anterior to the growth of their worship, as 
§bt forth in the Ramayana and Mahabharatct. 

There is in Manu a faint intimation that Buddhis- 
tical opinions were beginning to exert an influence 
over the minds of men, in the admission that the 
greatest of virtues is abstinence from injury to living 
beings, which would make his laws posterior to the 
sixth century B.C. ; but, conjecturing the probable 
dates of* the heroic poems to be about the third 
century B.C., we cannot place Manu lower than the 
fifth or sixth at least; beyond which, we have the 
whole body of philosophical and Vaidik literature. 
This would carry us, for the age of the Brahmana, to 
the seventh or eighth, at the least; and we cannot 
allow less than four or five centuries for the compo- 
sition and currency of the hymns, and the occurrence 
of those important changes, both civil and religious, 
which the Brahmana exhibits. This will bring us 
to the same era as that which has previously been 
computed, or about twelve or thirteen centuries 
B.C. Mr. Colebrooke, from astronomical data, 
would give the Suktas a higher antiquity, as he places 
the'r aggregation, or Sanhita, fourteen centuries B.C., 
a date not far from that which is here suggested.* 
Alt this is, no doubt, to be received with very great 
reservation, for, in dealing wish Hindu chronology, 
we have no trustworthy landmarks, no fixed eras, 
no comparative history to guide us. Tn proposing 

Asiatic Researches, vii. 283, and viii. 483. 



the above dates, therefore, rothirg more than con- 
jecture is intended, and it may be wide of the truth. 
We can scarcely be far wrong, however, in assigning ' 
a very remote date to most, if rot to all, the Suktas of 
the Rig-Veda, and in considering them to be amongst 
the oldest extant records of the ancient world. 

The text which has served for the following 
translation comprises the Suktas of the Rig-Veda and 
the commentary of Sayana Acharya, printed by 
Dr. MiHJer from a collation cf manuscripts, df which 
he has given an account in his Introduction.* Sayatia 
Acharya was the brother of MadLaxa Acharya, the 
prime minister cf Vita Bukka Raya, nja of Vijaya- 
nagara, in the fourteenth century, a munificent patron 
of Hirdu literature. Both the brothers are celebrated 
as scholars, and many important works are attributed 
to them; not only scholia on the Savhitas and 
Brahmanas of the Vedas, but original works on 
grammar and law; the fact, no doubt, being, that 
they availed themselves of those means which their 
situation and secured them, and employed 
the most learned Brahmanas they could attract to 
Vijayanagara upon the works which bear their name, 
and to which they also contributed their own labour 
and learning: their works were therefore compiled 
under peculiar advantages, ard arc deservedly held 
in the highest estimation. 

The scholia of Sayatia on the text of the Rig-Veda 
compiise three distinct portions; the first interprets 

* Rig-Veda , Preface, p. vii. 



the original text, or rather translates it into more 
modern Sanskrit, fills up any ellipse, and if any legend 
” is briefly alluded to, narrates it in detail; the next 
portion of the commentary is a grammatical analysis 
of the text, agreeably to the system of Panini, whose 
aphorisms, or Sutras, are quoted; and the third 
portion is an explanation of the accentuation of the 
several words: these two last portions are purely 
technical, and are untranslateable. The first portion 
•constitutes the basis of the English translation ; for 
although the interpretation of Sayana may be occa- 
sionally questioned, he undoubtedly had a knowledge 
of his text far beyond the pretensions of any European 
scholar, and must have been in possession, either 
through his own learning or that of his assistants, 
of all the interpretations which had been perpetuated 
by traditional teaching from the earliest times. 

In addition to these divisions of his commentary, 
Sayana prefaces each Sukta by a specification of its 
author, or Rishi ; of the deity or deities to whom it is 
addressed ; of the rhythmical structure of the several 
Richas, or stanzas; and of the Viniyoga, the applica- 
tion of the hymn, or of portions of it, to the religious 
rites at which they are to be repeated.* I have been 
unable to make use of this latter part of the descrip- 
tion, as the ceremonies are chiefly indicated by tl cir 
titles alone, and their peculiar details are not to be 
determined without a more laborious investig; ticn 
than the importance or interest of the subject appeared 
to me to demand. 

I have perhaps to offer, if not an excuse, a pica 



for retaining the original denominations of the divi- 
sions of the Veda ; as Sanhita, Mcmdala, Ashtaka, 
Adhyaya, Anuvaka, Sakta, and Varga, instead of 
attempting to express them by English equivalents. 
It appeared to me, however, that although the terms 
Collection, Circle, Book, Lecture, Chapter, Hymn, 
and Section might have been taken as substitutes, 
and in a general sense were allowable, yet they in no 
instance exactly expressed the meaning of the originals, 
and their use might have conveyed erroneous im- 
pressions. I have considered it advisable, therefore, 
to treat the original terms as if they were proper 
names, and have merely rendered them in Roman 
characters. 1 do not apprehend that any great 
inconvenience will be experienced from the use of 
these original designations, their conventional pur- 
port being readily remembered : 1 have also specified 
the metre that is employed in each Sukta, in order 
to show the variety that prevails. The description 
of tlie different kinds will be found in Mr. Colebrooke’s 
Essay on Sanskrit and Prakrit Prosody, in the tenth 
volume of the Asiatic Researches. 

ls$ July, 1850. 





Sltkta I 
I. 1. 1 

The first Sukta or Hymn is addressed to Agni. The Rishi or 
author is Madhuchhandas, the son of Vishwamitra. The metre is 

1. I glorify Agni, the high priest of the sacrifice, 
the divine, the ministrant, who presents the oblation 
(to the gods), and is the possessor of great wealth. 

2. May that Agni who is to be celebrated by both 
ancient and modern sages conduct the gods hither. 

3. Through Agni the worshipper obtains that 
affluence which increases day by day, which is the 
source of fame and the multiplier of mankind. 

4. Agni, the unobstructed sacrifice of which 
thou art on every side the protector, assuredly reaches 
the gods. 

5. May Agni, the presenter of 'oblations, the 
attainer of knowledge, he who is true, renowned, 
and divine, come hither with the gods. 

2 Rig- veda Translation [1.1.2 

6. Whatever ^ood thou mayest, Agni, bestov 
upon the giver (of the 'oblation), that verily, Angiras, 
shall revert to thee. 

7. We approach thee, Agni, with reverential hom- 
age in our thoughts, daily, both morning and evening. 

8. Thee, the radiant, the protector of sacrifices, 
the constant illuminator of truth, increasing in thine 
own dwelling. 

9. Agni, be unto us easy of access, as is a fathe* 
to his son; be ever present with us for our good 

I. 1. 2 

The Rishi is Madhuchhandas ; the metre Gayatri. Of the nine 
stanzas of which the hymn consists, three are addressed to Vayl , 
wind, three to Indra and Vayu conjointly, and three to Mitra and 

1. Vayu, pleasant to behold, approach: these 

libations are prepared for thee, drink of them : hear 
our invocation. 

2. Vayu, thy praisers praise thee with holy praises, 
having poured out the Soma juice, and knowing the 
(fit) season. 

3. VAYU, thy approving speech comes to the giver 
(of the libation), and to many (others who invite 
thee) to drink of the Soma juice. 

4. Tndra and Vayu, these libations are poured 
out (for you) ; come hither with food (for us) : verily 
the drops (of the Soma juice) await you both. 

5. Endra and Vayu, abiding in the sacrificial rite, 
you are aware of these libations: come both (then) 
quickly hither. 

First Mandala 


1. 1. 3] 

6. Vayu and Indra, come to the rite of the sacri- 
ficer, for thus, men, will completion be speedily 
(attained) by the ceremony. 

7. I invoke MiTra, of pure vigour, and Varuna, 
the devourer of foes ; the joint accomplishers of 
the act bestowing water (on the earth). 

8. Mitra and Varuna, augmenters of water, 
dispensers of water, you connect this perfect rite with 
its true (reward). 

9. Sapient Mitra and Varuna, prosper our 
-acrifice and increase our strength : you are born for 
ihe benefit of many, you are the refuge of multitudes. 

I. 1. 3 

The Riski and metre are the same as in the two preceding 
hymns : of twelve stanzas, three are addressed to the Ashwins, 
:hree to Indra, three to the Visit wadev as, and three to SaraswaTI. 

1. ASHWINS, cherishers of pious acts, long-armed, 
accept with outstretched hands the sacrificial viands. 

2. Ashwins, abounding in mighty acts, guides 
(of devotion), endowed with fortitude, listen with 
unaverted minds to our praises. 

3. Ashwins, destroyers of foes, exempt from 
untruth, leaders in the van of heroes, come to the 
mixed libations sprinkled on the lopped sacred grass. 

4. InJjra, of wonderful splendour, come hither : 
these libations, ever pure, expressed by the fingers 
(of the priests), are desirous of thee. 

5. Indra, apprehended by the understanding 
and appreciated by the wise, approach and accept 
the prayers of the priest as he offers the libation. 


Rig-veda Translation 

[ 1 . 2 . 

6. Fleet Indra with the tawny coursers, conn 
hither to the prayers \'of the priest), and in this liba 
tion accept our (proffered) food. 

7. Universal Gods, protectors and supporters oi 
men, bestowers (of rewards), come to the libation o! 
the worshipper. 

8. May the swift-moving universal Gcds, tht 
shedders of rain, come to the libation, as the solai 
rays come diligently to the days. 

9. . May the universal Gods, who are exemp: 
from decay, omniscient, devoid of malice, and bearer? 
of (riches), accept the sacrifice. 

10. May Saraswati, the purifier, the bestower ot 
food, the rccompenser of worship with wealth, be 
attracted by our offered viands to our rite. 

11. Saraswati, the inspirer of those who delight 
in truth, the instructress of the right-minded, has 
accepted our sacrifice. 

12. Saraswati makes manifest by her acts a 
mighty river, and (in her own form) enlightens all 


I. 2. 1 

The JRishi and metre continue unchanged ; the hymn is 
addressed to Indra. 

1. Day by day we invoke the doer of good works 
for our protection, as a good milch-cow for the milk- 
ing (is called by the milker). 

2. Drinker of the Soma juice, come to our (daily) 
rites, and drink of the libation; the satisfaction of 

I. 2. 1] 

First Mandala 


(thee who art) the bestower of riches, is verily (the 
cause of) the gift of cattle. 

3. We recognize thee in the midst of the right- 
minded, who are nearest to thee: come to us; pass 
us not by to reveal (thyself to others). 

4. Go, worshipper, to the wise and uninjured 
Indra, who bestows the best (of blessings) on thy 
friends, and ask him of the (fitness of the) learned 
(priest who recites his praise). 

5. Let our ministers, earnestly performing his 
worship, exclaim. Depart ye revilers from hence and 
every other place (where he is adored). 

6. Destroyer of foes, let our enemies say we are 
prosperous; let men (congratulate us); may we 
ever abide, in the felicity (derived from the favour) 
of Indra. 

7. Offer to Indra, the pervader (of every rite of 
libation), the juice that is present (at the three cere- 
monies), the grace of the sacrifice, the exhilarator of 
mankind, the perfector of the act, the favourite of 
(that Indra) who gives happiness (to the offerer). 

8. Having drunk, Shatakratu, of this ( Soma 
juice), thou becamest the slayer of the Vritras ; thou 
defendest the warrior in battle. 

9. We offer to thee, Shatakratu, the mighty 
in battle, (sacrificial) food for the acquirement, Indra, 
of riches. 

10. Sing unto that Indra who is the protector of 
wealth, the mighty, the accomplishes of good deeds, 
the friend of the offerer of the libation. 


Rig-veda Translation 

[I. 2.2 

r. 2. 2 

The deity,' Rishir and metre are unchanged. 

1. Hasten hither, friends, offering praises; sit 
down, and sing repeatedly the praises of INDRA. 

2. When the libation is poured forth, repectively 
praise Indra, the discomfiter of many enemies, the 
lord of many blessings. 

3. May he be to us for the attainment of our 
objects ; may he be to us for the acquirement of riches ; 
may he be to us for the acquisition of knowledge; 
may he come to us with food. 

4. Sing to that Indra, whose enemies in combats 
await not his coursers harnessed in his car, 

5. These pure Soma juices, mixed with curds, are 
poured out for the satisfaction of the drinker of the 

6. Thou, Indra, performer of good works, hast 
suddenly become of augmented vigour for the sake 
of drinking the libation, and (maintaining) seniority 
(among the gods). 

7. Indra, who art the object of praises, may these 
pervading Soma juices enter into thee ; may they be 
propitious for thy (attainment of) superior intelli- 

8. The chants (of the Soma ) have magnified thee, 
Shatakratu, the hymns (of the Rich) have magnified 
thee; may our praises magnify thee. 

9. May Indra, the unobstructed protector, enjoy 
these manifold (sacrificial) viands, in which all manly 
properties abide. 

10. Indra, who art the object of praises, let not. 

1. 2. 3] First Mandala T 

men do injury to our persons: thou art mighty, 
keep off violence. 

I: 2. 3 

The Rishi and metre continued. The three first stanzas and the 
last are addressed to Indra, the rest to the Mari is, or winds. 

1. The circum-stationed (inhabitants of the three 
worlds) associate with (Indra), the mighty (Sun), 
the indestructive (fire), the moving (wind), and the 
lights that shine in the sky. 

2. They (the charioteers) harness to his car his 
two desirable coursers, placed on either hand, bay 
coloured, high-spirited, chief-bearing. 

3. Mortals, you owe your (daily) birth (to such an 
Indra), who with the rays of the morning gives sense 
to the senseless, and to the formless form. 

4. Thereafter verily those who bear names in- 
voked in holy rites (the Maruts) having seen the rain 
(about to be engendered), instigated him to resume 
his embryo condition (in the clouds). 

5. Associated with the conveying Maruts, the 
traversers of places difficult of access, thou Indra, 
hast discovered the cows hidden in the cave. 

6. The reciters of praises praise the mighty (troop 
of Maruts), who are celebrated, and conscious of 
the power of bestowing wealth, in like manner as they 
(glorify) the counsellor (lNt>RA). 

7. May you be seen, Maruts* accompanied by 
the undaunted Tndra; (both) rejoicing, and of equal 

8 Rig-veda Translation [1. 2. 4 

8. This right is perfoimed in adoration of the 
powerful Indra, ' alocg with the irreproachable, 
heavenward-tending, and amiable bands (of the 

9. Therefore, circumambient (trcop of Makuts), 
come hither, whether frcm the region of the sky or 
from the solar sphere; for in this rite (the priest) 
fully recites your praises. 

10. We invoke Indra, whether he come from this 
earthly region, or frcm the heaven above, or from 
the vast firmament, that he may give (us) wealth. 

1. 2. 4 

The deity, Rishi, and metre as before. 

1. The chanters (of the Soma) extol Indra with 
songs, the reciters of the Rich with prayers, the priests 
of the Yajush, with texts. 

2. Indra, the blender of all things, comes verily 
with his steeds that are harnessed at his word: 
Indra, the richly-decorated, the wielder of the thunder- 

3. Indra, to render all things visible, elevated the 
sun in the sky, and charged the cloud with (abundant) 

4. Invincible Indra, protect us in battles abound- 
ing in spoil, with insuperable defences. 

5. We invoke Jndra for great affluence, Indra for 
limited wealth ; (our) ally, and wielder of the thunder- 
bolt against (our) enemies. 

J.3. 1] First Mandala 9 

6. Shedder of rain, granter of all desires, set open 
this cloud. Thou art nevev uncompliant with our 

7. Whatever excellent praises are given to other 
divinities, they are (al&o the due) of Tndra the 
thunderer: I do not know his fitting praise. 

8. The shedder of rain, the mighty lord, the 
always compliant, invests men with his strength, as 
a bull (defends) a herd of kine. 

9. Indra, who alone rules over men, over riches, 
and over the five (classes) of the dwellers on earth. 

10. We invoke for you, Indra, who is everywhere 
among men : may he be exclusively our own. 


I. 3. 1 

The deity, Rishi, and metre as before. 

1. Indra, bring for our protection riches, most 
abundant, enjoyable, the source of victory, the 
humbler of our foes. 

2. By which we may repel our enemies, whether 
(encountering them) hand to hand, or on horse- 
back; ever protected by thee. 

3. Defended by thee, Indra, we possess a pon- 
derous weapon, wherewith we may entirely conquer 
our opponents. 

4. With thee for our ally, Indra, and (aided by) 
missile-hurling heroe r , we are able to overcome (our 
foes) arrayed in hosts. 

10 Rig-veda Translation [1. 3. 2 

5. Mighty is Indra, and supreme; may magni- 
tude ever (belong) *to the bearer of the thunderbolt; 
may his strong (armies) be ever vast as the heavens. 

6. Whatever men have recourse to Indra in 
battle, or for the acquirement of offspring, and the 
wise who are desirous of understanding, (obtain 
their desires). 

7. The belly of Indra, which quaffs the Soma 
juice abundantly, swells like the ocean, (and is ever) 
moist, like the ample fluids of the palate. 

8. Verily the words of Indra to his worshipper 
are true, manifold, cow-conferring, and to be held 
in honour; (they are) like a branch (loaded with) 
ripe (fruit). 

9. Verily, Indra, thy glories are at all times the 
protectors of every such worshipper as I am. 

10. Verily his chanted and recited praises are to 
be desired and repeated to Indra, that he may drink 
the Soma juice. 

I. 3. 2 

Divinity, Rishi % and metre the same. 

1. Come, Indra, and be regaled with all viands 
libations, and thence, mighty in strength, be victorious 
(over thy foes). 

2. The libation being prepared, present the 
• exhilarating and efficacious (draught) to the rejoicing 
Indra, the acconaplisher of all things. 

3. Indra with the handsome chin, be pleased 
with these animating praises : do thou, who art to be 

1.3.3] First Mandala 11 

reverenced by all mankind* (cdme) to these rites 
(with the gods). 

4. I have addressed to thee, Indra, the showerer 
(of blessings), the protector (of thy worshippers), 
praises which have reached thee, and of which thou 
hast approved. 

5. Place before us, Indra, precious and multiform 
riches, for enough and more than enough are assuredly 


6. Opulent Indra, encourage us in this rite for the 
acquirement of wealth, for we are diligent and re- 

7. Grant us, Indra, wealth beyond measure or 
calculation, inexhaustible, the source of cattle, of 
food, of all life. 

8. Indra, grant us great renown and wealth 
acquired in a thousand ways, and those (articles) of 
food (which are brought from the field) in carts. 

9. We invoke, for the preservation of our pro- 
perty,* Indra, the lord of wealth, the object of sacred 
verses, the repairer (to the place of sacrifice), praising 
him with our praises. 

10. With libations repeatedly effused, the sacrificer 
glorifies the vast prowess of Indra, the mighty, the 
dweller in (an eternal mansion). 

1. 3. 3 

The divinity and Rishi are the same : the metre 'is the common 
Anushtubh . 

1. The chanters (of the Soma) hymn thee, Shata- 
kratu; the reciters of the Rich praise thee, who art 

12 Rig- veda Translation [1. 3. 3 

worthy of praise; the Brahmans raise thee aloft, 
like a bamboo pole. 

2. INdra, the showerer (of blessings), knows the 
object (of his worshipper), who has performed many 
acts of worship (with the Soma plant gathered) on 
the ridges of the mountain, and (therefore) comes 
with the troop (of Maruts). 

3. Indra, drinker of the Soma, having put to 
thy long-maned, vigorous, and well-conditioned 
steeds, jcome nigh to hear our praises. 

4. Come, Vasu, (to this our rite); reply to our 
hymns, answer (to our praises), respond to (our 
prayers); be propitious, Indra, to our sacrifice, and 
(bestow upon us abundant) food. 

5. The hymn, the cause of increase, is to be 
repeated to Indra, the repeller of many foes, that 
Shakra may speak (with kindness) to our sons and 
to our friends. 

6. We have recourse to Tndra for his friendship, 
for wealth, for perfect might; for he, the powerful 
Indra, conferring wealth, is able (to protect us). 

7. Indra, by thee is food (rendered) everywhere 
abundant, easy of attainment, and assuredly perfect: 
wielder of the thunderbolt, set open the cow-pastures, 
and provide (ample) wealth. 

8. Heaven and earth are unable to sustain thee 
when destroying thine enemies; thou mayest com- 
mand the waters of heaven : send us liberally kine. 

9. Oh ! thou, whose ears hear all things, listen 
quickly to my invocation ; hold in thy heart my 

1. 3. 4] First Mandala 1 3 

praises; keep near to thee J:his my hylnn, as it were 
(the words of) a friend. 

10. We know thee, liberal rainer (of blessings), 
the hearer of our call in battles ; we invoke the thou- 
sand-fold profitable protection of thee, the showerer 
(of bounties). 

11. Come quickly, Tndra, son of Kushika, 
delighted drink the libation; prolong the life that 
merits commendation; make me, who am a Rishi 
abundantly endowed (with possessions). 

12. May these our praises be on all occasions 
around thee, deserver of praise; may they aug- 
ment the power of thee, who art long-lived, and being 
agreeable to thee, may they yield delight (to us). 

I. 3. 4 

The divinity is still Indra, but the Rishi is now styled JeTrj, 
the son of Madhuchhandas ; the metre is Anushtubh . 

1. All our praises magnify Indra, expansive as 
the ocean, the most valiant of warriors who fight 
in chariots, the lord of food, the protector of the 

2. Supported by thy friendship, Indra, cherisher of 
strength, we have no fear, but glorify thee, the con- 
queror, the unconquered. 

3. The ancient liberalities of Indra, his protec- 
tions, will not be wanting to him. who presents to 
the reciters of the hymns, wealth of food and cattle. 

4. Indra was born the destroyer of cities, ever 
young, ever wise, of unbounded strength, the sus- 

14 Rig-veda Translation [1. 4. 1 

tainer of all pious acts, the wielder of the thunderbolt, 
the many-praised. ‘ * 

5. Thou, wielder of the thunderbolt, didst open 
the cave of Vala, who had there concealed the cattle ; 
ftnd the gods whom he had oppressed, no longer 
feared when they had obtained thee (for their ally). 

6. (Attracted) by thy bounties, T again come. 
Hero, to thee, celebrating (thy liberality) while offer- 
ing this libation ; the performers of the rite approach 
thee, w£io art worthy of praise, for they have known 
thy (munificence). 

7. Thou slewest, Indra, by stratagems, the wily 
Shushna : the wise have known of this thy (greatness) ; 
bestow upon them (abundant) food. 

8. The reciters of sacred hymns praise with all 
their might, INdra, the ruler of the world, whose 
bounties are (computed by) thousands, or even more. 


I. 4. 1 

The deity addressed is AGNr ; the Rishi is Medhatithf, the son 
of Kanwa ; the metre GayatrL 

1. We select Agni, the messenger of the gods, 
their invoker, the possessor of all riches, the perfecter 
of this rite. 

2. (The offerers of oblations) invoke with their 
invocations, Agni, Agni, the lord of men, the bearer 
of offerings, the beloved of many. 

3. Agni, "generated (by attrition), bring hither the 
gods to the clipped sacred grass; thou art their 
invoker for us, and art to be adored. 

First M and ala 


I. 4. 1] 

4. As thou dischargest the jluty of messenger, 
arouse them desirous of the ’oblation ; sit down with 
them on the sacred grass. 

5. Resplendent Agnj, invoked by oblations of 
clarified butter, consume our adversaries, who are 
defended by evil spirits. 

6. Agni, the ever young and wise, the guardian 

of the dwelling (of the sacrificer), the bearer of offer- 
ings, whose mouth is (the vehicle) of oblations, is 
kindled by Agni. • 

7. Praise in the sacrifice, Agni, the wise, the 
observer of truth, the radiant, the remover of disease. 

8. Resplendent Agni, be the protector of that 
offerer of oblations who worships thee, the messenger 
of the gods. 

9. Be propitious, Pavaka, to him who, presenting 
oblations for the gratification of the gods, approaches 

10. Agni, the bright, the purifier, bring hither 
the gods to our sacrifice, to our oblations. 

11. Praised with our newest hymn, bestow upon 
us riches and food, the source of progeny. 

12. ApNl, shining w'ith pure radiance, and charged 
with all the invocations of the gods, be pleased by this 
our praise. 


Rig-veda Translation 

[I. 4. 2 

. I. 4. 2 

The Rishi and the metre are the same, but the Hymn is addressed 
to a variety of divinities or deified objects, to which the general name 
Apri is applied. The first five stanzas hymn various forms of Agni ; 
the sixth, the doors of the hall of sacrifice ; the seventh, morning and 
night; the eighth, two divine or deified priests : the ninth, the god- 
desses Ila, Saraswati, and Bharati ; the tenth, Twashtri ; the 
eleventh, Vanaspati; and the twelfth, Swaha. They are all consi- 
dered as identifiable or connected with Agni. 

1. Agni, who art Susamiddha, invoker, purifier, 
bring hither the gods to the offerers of our oblation, 
and do thou sacrifice. 

2. Wise (Agni), who art Tanunapat, present 
this day our well-flavoured sacrifice to the gods for 
their food. 

3. I invoke the beloved Narashansa, the sweet- 
tongued, the offerer of oblations, to this sacrifice. 

4. Agni, (who art) Ilita, bring hither the gods 
in an easy-moving chariot, for thou art the invoker 
instituted by men. 

5. Strew, learned priests, the sacred grass, well 
bound together (in bundles), and sprinkled with 
clarified butter, the semblance of ambrosia. 

6. Let the bright doors, the augmenters of sacri- 
fice, (hitherto) unentered, be set open, for certainly 
to-day is the sacrifice to be made. 

7. I invoke the lovely night and dawn to sit upon 
the sacred grass, at this our sacrifice. 

8. T call the two eloquent divine and sage invokers 
(of the gods), that they may celebrate this our sacrifice. 

9. May the three undecaying goddesses, givers of 
delight, Ila, Saraswati, and Mahi, sit down upon 
the sacred grass. 

I. 4. 3] 

First Mandala 


10. I invoke the chief and multiform Twashtri; 
may he be solely ours. 

11. Present, divine Vanaspati, our oblation’ to 
the gods, and may true* knowledge be (the reward) 
of the giver. 

12. Perform the sacrifice conveyed through Swaha 
to Imdra, in the house of the worshipper: therefore 
I call the gods hither. 

I. 4. 3 

The Rishi and metre are unchanged, but the Hymn is addressed 
to Agni and other divinities who are named, and to the Vishwadevas. 

1. Come, AgNi, to our adoration, and to our 
praises, with all these gods, to drink the Soma juice ; 
and (do thou) offer sacrifice. 

2. The Kanwas invoke thee, sapient Agni, and 
extol thy deeds : come, Agni, with the gods. 

3. Sacrifice, (Agni), to Indra, Vayu, Brihaspati, 
Mitra, Agni, Fushan, and Bhaga, the Adityas, 
and the troop of Maruts. 

4. For all of you are poured out these juices, 
satisfying, exhilarating, sweet, falling in drops, or 
gathered in ladles. 

5. The wise priests desirous of the protection (of 
the gods), having spread the sacred grass, presenting 
oblations, and offering ornaments, praise thee. 

6. Let the coursers who convey thee, glossy- 
backed, and harnessed at will, bring the gyds to drink 
the Soma juice. 

7. Agni, make those objects of veneration, aug- 
mented of pious acts, (participant of the offering), 

18 Rig-veda Translation [1. 4. 4 

together with their 'wiver; give them, bright-tongued, 
to drink of the Soma juice. 

8. Let those objects of veneration and of praise, 
drink with thy tongue, of the Soma juice, at the mo- 
ment of libation. 

9. Let the wise invoker (of the gods) bring hither 
from the shining (sphere) of the sun, all the divinities 
awaking with the dawn. 

10. With all the gods, with Tndra, Vay’u, and 
the glories of Mitka, drink, Agni, the sweet Soma 

11. Thou, Agni, appointed by man as the invoker 
(of the gods), art present at sacrifices ; do thou present 
this our oblation. 

12. Yoke, divine Agni, thy fleet and powerful 
mares, Rohits, to thy chariot, and by them hither 
bring the gods. 

I. 4. 4 

The Rishi and metre are unchanged; the deity is Ritu, associated 
in each stanza with some divinity more familiarly known. 

1. Indra, drink with Ritu the Soma juice; let 
the satisfying drops enter into thee, and there abide. 

2. Maruts, drink with Ritu from the sacrificial 
vase; consecrate the rite, for you are bountiful. 

3. Neshtri, with thy spouse, commend our sacri- 
fice to the* gods; drink with Ritu, for thou art 
possessed of riches. 

4. Agni, bring the gods hither, arrange them in 
three places, decorate them; drink with Rfru. 


1. 4. 5] First Mandala 19 

5. Drink the Soma juice, Indra, from the precious 
vase of the Brdhmana, after RiVu, for whom thy 
friendship is uninterrupted". 

6. Mitra and Varuna, propitious to pious acts, 
be present with Ritu at our sacrifice, efficacious and. 
undisturbed (by foes). 

7. (The priests) desirous of wealth, holding stones 
in their hands, praise the divine (Agni) Dravinodas, 
both in the primary and subsidiary sacrifices. 

8. May Dravi'nto’das give us riches that piay be 
heard of : we ask them for the gods. 

9. Dravinodas desires to drink with the Ritus 
from the cup of Neshtri: hasten, (priests, to the 
hall of offering); present the oblation, and depart. 

10. Since Dravinodas, we adore thee for the 
fourth time along with the Ritus; therefore be a 
benefactor unto us. 

11. Ashwins, performers of pious acts, bright 
with sacrificial fires, accepters, with the Ritus, of the 
sacrifice, drink the sweet draught. 

12. Giver of rewards (Agni), being identified with 
the household fire, and partaker with Rifu of the 
sacrifice, worship the gods on behalf of their adorer. 

I. 4. 5. 

The Risk! and metre continued { the deity is Indra. 

1. Indra, let thy coursers hjther, bring thee, 
bestower of desires, to drink the Soma juice; may 
(the priests), radiant' as the Sun, (make thee manifest). 


Rig-veda Translation 

[1. 4.5 

2. Let his coursers convey Indra in an easy- 
moving chariot hither, v^here these grains (of parched 
barley), steeped in clarified butter, are strewn (upon 
the altar). 

3. We invoke Indra at the morning rite, we 
invoke him at the succeeding sacrifice, we invoke 
Indra to drink the Soma juice. 

4. Come, Indra, to our libation, with thy long- 
maned steeds; the libation being poured out, we 
invoke ithee. 

5. Do thou accept this our praise, and come to 
this our sacrifice, for which the libation is prepared; 
drink like a thirsty stag. 

6. These dripping Soma juices are effused upon 

the sacred grass : drink them, Indra, (to recruit 

thy) vigour. 

7. May this our excellent hymn, touching thy 
heart, be grateful to thee, and thence drink the 
effused libation. 

8. Indra, the destroyer of enemies, repairs 
assuredly to every ceremony where the libation is 
poured out, to drink the Soma juice for (his) exhilara- 

9. Do thou, Shatakr'atu, accomplish our desire 

with (the gift of) cattle and horses: profoundly 

meditating, we praise thee. 

I. 4. 6 } 

First Mandala 


I. 4. 6 

Metre and Rishi as before : divinities, Indra and Varuna con- 
jointly. • 

1. I seek the protection of the sovereign rulers, 

Indra and Varuna : may they both favour us 


2. For you are ever ready, guardians of mankind, 
to grant protection on the appeal of a minister such 
as I am. 

3. Satisfy us with wealth, Indra and Varuna, 
according to our desires : we desire you ever near us. 

4. The mingled (libations) of our pious rites, the 
mingled (laudations) of our right-minded (priests, 
are prepared); may we be (included) among the 
givers of food. 

5. InTdra is a giver among the givers of thousands ; 
Varuna is to be praised among those who are deserv- 
ing of laudation. 

6. Through their protection, we enjoy (riches), 
and heap them up, and still there is abundance. 

7. I invoke you both, Pndra and Var'una, for 
manifold opulence: make us victorious (over our 

8. Indra and Varuna, quickly bestow happiness 
upon us, for our minds are devoted to you both. 

9. May the earnest praise which I offer to TNdra 
and Varuna reach you both, — that conjoint praise 
which you (accepting), dignify. 


Rig-veDa Translation 

p. 5. 1 



I. 5. 1 

The metre and Rishi as in the preceding. The first five stanzas 
are addressed to Brahmanaspati, associated in the fourth with Indra 
and Soma, and in the fifth, with them and Dakshina; the three next 
are addressed to Sadasaspati, and the ninth to the same, or to 

1. Brahmanaspati , make the offerer of the 
libation illustrious among the gods, like Kajcshivat, 
the son *of Usij. 

2. May he who is opulent, the healer of disease, 
the acquirer of riches, the augmenter of nourishment, 
the prompt (bestower of rewards), be favourable to us. 

3. Protect us, Brahmanaspati, so that no calum- 
nious censure of a malevolent man may reach us. 

4. The liberal man, whom Indra, Brahmanaspati, 
and Soma protect, never perishes. 

5. Do thou, Brahmanaspati, and do you. Soma, 
Indra, and Dakshina, protect that man from sin. 

6. I solicit understanding from Sadasaspati, the 
wonderful, the friend of Indra, the desirable, the 

7. Without whose aid the sacrifice even of the 
wise is not perfected : he pervades the association of 
our thoughts. 

8. He rewards the presenter of the oblation ; 
he brings the sacrifice to its conclusion ; (through him) 
our invocation reaches the gods. 

9. I have beheld Narashansa, the most resolute, 
the most renowned, and radiant as the heavens. 

T. 5. 2] 

First Mandala 


I. 5. 2 

The metre and Rishi are unchanged ; Agni and the Maruts are 
the deities. 

1. Earnestly art thOu invoked to this perfect 
rite, to drink the Soma juice : come, Agni, with the 

2. Nor god nor man has power over a rite (dedi- 
cated) to thee, who art mighty: come, Agni, with 
the Maruts. 

3. Who all are divine and devoid of malignity, and 
who know (how to cause the descent) of great waters : 
come, Agni, with the Maruts. 

4. Who are fierce, and send down rain, and are 

unsurpassed in strength : come, A6 ni, with the 


5. Who are brilliant, of terrific forms, who are 
possessors of great wealth, and are devourers of the 
malevolent: come, Agni, with the Maruts. 

6. Who are divinities abiding in the radiant heaven 
above the sun: come, Agni, with the Maruts. 

7. Who scatter the clouds, and agitate the sea 
(with waves) : come, Agni, with the Maruts. 

8. Who spread (through the firmament) along 
with the rays (of the sun), and with their strength 
agitate the ocean: come, Agni, with the Maruts. 

9. I pour out the sweet Soma juice for thy drink- 
ing, (as) of old: come, A<gni, with the Maruts. 


Rig-veda Translation 

[T. 5. 3' 

I. 5. 3 

Metre and Rishi as Ifefore * addressed to the deified mortals 
named Ribhus. 

1. ‘This hymn, the bes tower of riches, has been 
addressed by the sages, with 'their own mouths, to 
the (class of) divinities having birth. 

2. They who created mentally for Tndra the 
horses that are harnessed at his words, have partaken 
of the sacrifice performed with holy acts. 

3. They constructed for the Nasatyas, a uni- 
versally-itfoving and easy car, and a cow yielding 

4. The Ribhus, uttering unfailing prayers, en- 
dowed with rectitude, and succeeding (in all pious 
acts), made their (aged) parents young. 

5. Ribhus, the exhilarating juices are offered to 
you, along with Tndra, attended by the Maruts, and 
along with the brilliant ADityas. 

6. The Ribhus have divided unto four the new 
ladle, the work of the divine Twashtri. 

7. May they, moved by our praises, give to the 
offerer of the libation many precious things, and 
perfect the thrice seven sacrifices. 

8. Offerers (of sacrifices), they held (a mortal 
existence) : by their pious acts they obtained a share 
of sacrifices with the gods. 

I. 5. 4 

Rishi and metre the same ; the hymn is addressed to Indra and’ 
Aoni. . , 

1. I invoke hither, Indra and Agni, to whom 
we desire to present our praise: let them, who are 

I. 5. 5] 

First M and ala 


both copious drinkers of the Son \a juice, (accept the 
libation). *' * 

2. Praise, men, Indra and Agni, in sacrifices, 
decorate them (with ornaments), and hymn them 
with hymns. 

3. We invoke Indra and Agni, for the benefit of 
our friend (the institutor of the rite), drinkers of the 
Soma juice, to drink the libation. 

4. We invoke the two who are fierce (to their 
foes) to attend the rite, where the libation is prepared : 
Indra and Agni, come hither. 

5. May those two, Indra and Agni, who are 
mighty, and guardians of the assembly, render the 
Rakshasas innocuous, and may the devourers (of 
men) be destitute of progeny. 

6. By this unfailing sacrifice, be you rendered 
vigilant, Indra and Agni, in the station which affords 
knowledge (of the consequences of acts), and bestow 
upon us happiness. 

I. 5. 5 

The Rishi and metre continue ; the hymn consists of twenty-one 
stanzas, which are addressed to a variety of divinities, or four to the 
Ashwins and four to Savitri ; the next two to Agni ; the eleventh, 
to the goddesses collectively ; the twelfth, to the wives of Indra, 
Varuna, and Agni; the two next to Heaven and Earth; the fifteenth, 
to Earth alone ; and the last six, to Vishnu. 

1. Awaken the Ashwins, associated for the 
morning sacrifice: let them both colne hither to 
drink of this Soma juice. 

2. We invoke the two Ashwins, who are both 

26 Rig-veda Translation [1. 5. 5 

divine, the best of charioteers, riding in an excellent 
car, and attaining heaven. 

3. AshwiNs, stir up the sacrifice with your whip 
that' is wet with the foam (of your horses), and lashing 

4. The abode of the offerer of the libation is not 
far from you, AshWins, going thither in your car. 

5. I invoke Savitri, the golden-handed, to pro- 
tect me : he will appoint the station of the worshippers. 

6. Glorify SaviTri, who is no friend to water, 
for our protection : we desire to celebrate his worship. 

7. We invoke Savitri, the enlightener of men, 
the dispenser of various home-insuring wealth. 

8. Sit down, friends; Saj/itri verily is to be 
praised by us, for he is the giver of riches. 

9. Agni, bring hither the loVing wives of the 
gods, and Twash'tri, to drink the Soma juice. 

10. Youthful Agni, bring hither for our protection 
the wives (of the gods), Hotra, Bharati, Varutri, 
and Dhishana. 

11. May the goddesses, whose wings are unclipt, 
the protectresses of mankind, favour us with pro- 
tection, and with entire felicity. 

12. I invoke hither, Tndrani, VarunaNi, and 
AgNayi, for our welfare, and to drink the Soma juice. 

13. May the great heaven and the earth be 
pleased to blend this sacrifice (with their own dews), 
and fill us with nutriment. 

14. The wise taste, through their pious acts, the 
ghee-resembling waters of these tSvo, (abiding) in 
the permanent region of the Gandharvas. 

First Mandala 


1. 5. 6] 

15. Earth, be thou wide-spreading, free from 

thorns, and our abiding pla^e: give us great happi- 
ness. , 

16. May the gods preserve us (from that portion) 
of the earth whence VishnU, (aided) by the seven 
metres, stepped. 

17. VisBNU traversed this (world): three times he 
planted his foot, and the whole (world) was collected 
in the dust of his (footstep). 

18. Vishnu, the preserver, the uninjurable, stepped 
three steps, upholding thereby righteous acts. 

19. Behold the deeds of ViSHNu, through which 
(the worshipper) has accomplished (pious) vows: 
he is the worthy friend of Indra. 

20. The wise ever contemplate that supreme 
station of Vishnu, as the eye ranges over the sky. 

21. The wise, ever vigilant and diligent in praise, 
amply glorify that which is the supreme station of 

I. 5. 6 

The Rishi is still Medhatithi, the son of Kanwa ; the metre 
of the first eighteen stanzas is Gayatri , in stanza nineteen Ushnih , 
and in the rest Anushtubh . The hymn consists of twenty-four 
stanzas, of which the first is addressed to Vayu, the two next to 
Indra aad Vayu, then three to Mitra and Varuna, three to Indra 
and the Maruts, three to the Vishwadevas, three to Pushan, 
seven and a half to the waters, and the last verse and a half to 

1. These sharp and blessing-bearing Soma juices 
are poured out: come, Vayu, and drink of them as 

28 Rig-veda Translation [1. 5. 6 

2. We invoke bqfh the divinities abiding in heaven, 
Indra and Vayu, to drink of this Soma juice. 

» 3.' The wise invoke, for their preservation, IIsidra 

and Vayu, who are swift as thought, have a thousand 
eyes, and are protectors of pious acts. 

4. We invoke Mitra and Varuna, becoming 
present at the sacrifice, and of pure strength, to 
drink the Soma juice. 

5. I invoke Mitra and Varuna, who, with true 
speech, *are the encouragers of pious acts, and are 
lords of true light. 

6. May VaRuna be our especial protector; may 
Mitra defend us with all defences; may they make 
us most opulent. 

7. We invoke In;dra, attended by the Maruts, 
to drink the Soma juice: may he, with his associates, 
be satisfied. 

8. Divine Maruts, of whom Indra is the chief, 
and PuspLAN the benefactor, all hear my invocations. 

9. Liberal donors, along with the mighty and 
associated Indra, destroy Vritra : let not the evil 
one prevail against us. 

10. We invoke all the divine Maruts, who are 
fierce, and have the (many-coloured) earth for their 
mother, to drink the Soma juice. 

11. Whenever, leaders (of men), you accept an 
auspicious (offering), then the shout of the Maruts 
spreads with exultation, like (that) of conquerors. 

12. May fhe Maruts, born from the brilliant 
lightning, everywhere preserve us, and make us 

First Mandala 

T. 5. 6] 

29 ‘ 

13. Resplendent and (swift) moving Pushan, bring 
from heaven the Soma juice, in combination with the 
variegated sacred grass, as (a man brings back)*an 
animal that was lost. 

14. The resplendent Pushan has found the royal 
( Soma juice), although concealed, hidden in a secret 
place, strewed amongst the sacred grass. 

15. Verily he has brought to me successively the 
six (seasons), connected with the drops (of the Soma 
juice), as (a husbandman) repeatedly ploughs (the 
earth) for barley. 

16. Mothers to us, who are desirous of sacrificing, 
the kindred (waters) flow by the paths (of sacrifice), 
qualifying the milk (of kine) with sweetness. 

17. May those waters which are contiguous to 
the Sun, and those with which the Sun is associated, 
be propitious to our rite. 

18. I invoke the divine waters in which our cattle 
drink : offer oblations to the flowing (streams). 

19. Ambrosia is in the waters ; in the waters are 
medicinal herbs; therefore, divine (priests), be 
prompt in their praise. 

20. S'pma has declared to me, “all medicaments, 
as well as Agni, the benefactor of the universe, are 
in the waters”: the waters contain all healing 

21. Waters, bring to perfection all disease-dis- 
pelling medicaments for (the good of) my body,, 
that I may long behold the sun. • 

22. Waters, take away whatever sin has been 
(found) in me, whether I have (knowingly) done 

30 Rig- veda Translation [1.6 1 

wrong, or have pronqunced imprecations (against 
holy men), or (have spoken) untruth. 

23. I have this day entered into the waters: we 

have mingled with their essence: Acni, abiding 

in the waters, approach, and fill me, thus (bathed), 
with vigour. 

24. Agni, confer upon me vigour, progeny, and 
life, so that the gods may know the (sacrifice) of this 
my (employer), and Indra, with the Rishis, may 
know it. 


T. 6. 1 

This is the first of a series of seven hymns constituting this 
section, attributed to Shunahshepas, the son of Ajigarta : the 
metre is Trishtubl r, except in stanzas three, four, and five, in which 
it is Gayatri. The first verse is addressed to Prajapati, the second 
to Agni, the three next to Savitri, or the last of the three to 
Bhaga ; the rest to Varuna. 

1. Of whom, or of which divinity of the immortals, 
shall we invoke the auspicious name ? who will give 
us to the great Aditi, that T may again behold my 
father and my mother. 

2. Let us invoke the auspicious name of Agni, 
the first divinity of the immortals, that he may give us 
to the great Aditi, and that I may behold again my 
father and my mother. 

3. Ever-protecting Savitri, we solicit (our) portion 
of thee, who .art tfie lord of affluence. 

4. That wealth which has been retained in thy 
hands, and is entitled to commendation, as exempt 
from envy or reproach. 

1. 6. 1] First Mandala 31 

5. We are assiduous in attaining the summit of 
affluence, through the protection of thee, who art 
the possessor of wealth. 

6. These birds, that are flying (through the air), 
have not obtained, VarunA, thy bodily strength or 
thy prowess, or (are able to endure thy) wrath; 
neither do these waters that flow unceasingly, nor 
(do the gales) of wind, surpass thy speed. 

7. The regal Varuna, of pure vigour, (abiding) 
in the baseless (firmament), sustains on high’a heap 
of light, the rays (of which) are pointed downwards, 
while their base is above: may they become con- 
centrated in us as the sources of existence. 

8. The regal Varuna verily made wide the path 
of the sun, (by which) to travel on his daily course; 
a path to traverse in pathless (space) : may he be the 
repeller of every afflicter of the heart. 

9. Thine, O king, are a hundred and a thousand 
medicaments: may thy favour, comprehensive and 
profound, be (with us); keep afar from us Nirritj, 
with unfriendly looks, and liberate us from whatever 
sin we may have committed. 

10. These constellations, placed on high, which 
are visible by night, and go elsewhere by day, are the 
undisturbed holy acts of Varuna, (and by his com- 
mand) the moon moves resplendent by night. 

11. Praising thee with (devout) prayer, I implore 
thee for that (life) which the institutor of the sacrifice 
solicits with oblations : Varuna, undisdainful, bestow 
a thought upon us : much-lauded, take not away our 


Rig-veda Translation 

[I. 6.2 

12. This (thy pr,aise) they repeat to me by night 
and by day: this knowledge speaks to my heart: 
may he whom the fettered Shunahshepas has invoked, 
may the regal Varuna set us free. 

13. Shunahshepas, seized and bound to the three- 
footed tree, has invoked the son of Aditi : may the 
regal VaRuNa, wise and irresistible, liberate him; 
may he let loose his bonds. 

14. VarOna, we deprecate thy wrath with pros- 
trations* with sacrifices, with oblations : averter of 
misfortune, wise and illustrious, be present amongst 
us, and mitigate the evils we have committed. 

15. VaRuna, loosen for me the upper, the middle, 
the lower band; so, son of Aditi, shall we, through 
faultlessness in thy worship, become freed from sin. 

I. 6. 2 

This hymn is addressed by Shunahshepas to Varuna ; the 
metre is Gayatri. 

1. Inasmuch as all people commit errors, so do 
we, divine Varuna, daily disfigure thy worship by 

2. Make us not the objects of death, through thy 
fatal indignation, through the wrath of thee so dis- 

3. We soothe thy mind, Varuna, by our praises, 
for our good, as a charioteer his weary steed. 

4. My tranquil (meditations) revert to the desire 
of life, as birds hover around their nests. 

5. When, for our happiness, shall we bring hither 

T. 6. 2] First Mandala 33 

VarunX, eminent in strength, the .guide (of men), the 
regarder of many? 

6. Partake, (Mitra and Varuna), of the common 
(oblation), being propitious to the giver and cele- 
brator of this pious rite. 

7. He, who knows the path of the birds flying 
through the air; he, abiding in the ocean, knows 
(also) the course of ships. 

8. He, who accepting the rites (dedicated to him), 
knows the twelve months and their productions, 
and that which is supplementarily engendered. 

9. He, who knows the path of the vast, the grace- 
ful, and the excellent wind, and who knows those 
who reside above. 

10. He, Varuna, the accepter of holy rites, the 
doer of good deeds, has sat down amongst the (divine) 
progeny, to exercise supreme dominion (over them). 

11. Through him, the sage beholds all the marvels 
that have been or will be wrought. 

12. May that very wise son of Aditi, keep us all 
our days in the right path, and prolong our lives. 

13. Varuna clothes his well-nourished (person), 
wearing golden armour, whence the (reflected) rays 
are spread around. 

14. A divine (being), whom enemies dare not to 
offend ; nor the oppressors of mankind, nor the 
iniquitous, (venture to displease). 

15. Who has distributed unlimited food to man- 
kind, and especially to us. 

16. My thoughts ever turn back to him who is 
beheld of many, as the kine return to the pastures. 


Rig-veda Translation 

[I. 6. 3 

17. Let us together proclaim that my offering 
has been prepared/ and » that you, as if the offerer, 
accept the valued (oblation). 

18. I have seen him whose appearance is grateful 
to all ; I have beheld his chariot upon earth : he 
has accepted these my praises. 

19. Hear, Varuna, this my invocation; make us 
this day happy: I have appealed to thee, hoping 
for protection. 

20. Jhou who art possessed of wisdom, shinest 
over heaven and earth, and all the world : do thou 
hear and reply (to my prayers), with (promise of) 

21. Loose us from the upper bonds, untie the 
centre and the lower, that we may live. 

I. 6. 3 

The supposed author or reciter is Shunahshepas, as before ; the 
hymn is addressed to Agni ; the metre is Gayatri. 

1. Lord of sustenance, assume thy vestments 
(of light), and offer this our sacrifice. 

2. (Propitiated) by brilliant strains, do thou, 
ever-youthful Agni, selected by us, become our 
ministrant priest, (invested) with radiance. 

3. Thou, Agni, art verily as a loving father to a 
son, as a kinsman to a kinsman, as a friend to a friend. 

4. Let Varuna, Mitra, and Aryaman, sit down 
upon our sacred grass, as they did at the sacrifice of 

5. Preceding sacrificer, be pleased with this our 

First Mandala 

I. 6. 4] 


sacrifice and with our friendship, * and listen to these 
thy praises. 

6. Whatever we offer in repeated and plentiful 
oblation to any other deity, is assuredly offered to 

7. May the lord of men, the sacrificing priest, 
the gracious, the chosen, be kind to us; may we, 
possessed of holy fires, be loved of thee. 

8. As the brilliant (priests), possessed of holy 
fires, have taken charge of our oblation, so we, with 
holy fires, pray to thee. 

9. Immortal Agni, may the praises of mankind be 
henceforth mutually (the sources of happiness) to 
both, (to ourselves and to thee). 

10. Agni, son of strength, (accept) this sacrifice, 
and this our praise, with all thy fires, and grant us 
(abundant) food. 

I. 6. 4 

The Rishi, divinity, and metre, as before, except in the last 
stanza, in which the metre is Trishtubh , and the Vishwadevas are 

1. (I proceed) to address thee, the sovereign lord 
of sacrifices, with praises, (for thou scatterest our 
foes) like a horse (who brushes off flies with) his tail. 

2. May he, the son of strength, who moves every- 
where fleetly, be propitious to us, and shower down 

3. Do thou, Agni, who goest everywhere, ever 
protect us, whether near or afar, from men seeking 
to do us injury. 

36 Rig-veda Translation [1.6.4 

4. Agni, announce to the gods this our offering, 
and these our newest hymns. 

5. " Procure for us the food that is in heaven and 
mid-air, and grant us the wealth that is on earth. 

6. Thou, ChitrarhAnu, art the distributor of 
riches, as the waves of a river are parted by inter- 
jacent (islets); thou ever pourest (rewards) upon the 
giver (of oblations). 

7. The mortal whom thou, Agni, protectest in 
battle, whom thou incitest to combat, will always 
command (food). 

8. No one will ever be the vanquisher of this 
thy worshipper, subduer of enemies, for notorious 
is his prowess. 

9. May he who is worshipped by all men, convey 
us with horses through the battle; may he, (propi- 
tiated) by the priests, be the bestower (of bounties). 

10. Jarabodha, enter into the oblation for the 
completion of the sacrifice that benefits all mankind : 
the worshipper offers agreeable laudation to the 
terrible (Agni). 

11. May the vast, illimitable, smoke-bannered, 
resplendent Agni be pleased with our rite, and grant 
us food. 

12. May Agni, the lord of men, the invoker and 
messenger of the gods, the brilliant-rayed, hear us 
with our hymns, as a prince (listens to the bards). 

13. Veneration to the great gods, veneration to 
the lesser, veneration to the young, veneration to the 
old ; we worship (all) the gods as well as we are able : 
may I not omit the praise of the elder divinities. 

I. 6. 5] 

First Mandala 


I. 6. 5 


Shunahshepas is the Rishi • the metre of the six first stanzas is 
Anushtubk ; of the three last, Gayatri. The first four stanzas are 
addressed to Indra, the two next to the domestic mortar, the next 
two to the mortar and pestle, and the ninth is of a miscellaneous 
appropriation, either to Uarischandra, a Prajapati , to the Adhisha- 
vana or the effused libation, to the Soma juice, or to the skin icharma) 
on which it is poured. 

1. Indra, as the broad-based stone is raised to 

express the Soma juice, recognize and partake of the 
effusions of the mortar. * 

2. In£>ra, (in the rite) in which the two platters 
for containing the juice, as (broad as a woman’s) 
hips, are Employed, recognize and partake of the 
effusions of the mortar. 

3. Indra, (in the rite) in which the housewife 
repeats egress from and ingress into (the sacrificial 
chamber), recognize and partake of the effusions of 
the mortar. 

4. When they bind the churning-staff (with a 
cord), like reins to restrain (a horse), Indra, recog- 
nize and partake of the effusions of the mortar. 

5. If, indeed, O Mortar, thou art present in every 
house, give forth (in this rite) a lusty sound, like the 
drum of a victorious host. 

6. Lord of the forest, as the wind gently blows 
before thee, so do thou, O Mortar, prepare the Soma 
juice for the beverage of Indr,a. 

7. Implements of sacrifice, bestowers of food, 
loud-sounding, sport like the horses* of Indra champ- 
ing the grain. 

8. Do you two forest lords, of pleasing form. 

38 Rig-veda Translation [1. 6. 6 

prepare with agreeable libations our sweet (: Soma ) 
juices for Indra. * 

9\ Bring the remains of the Sonia juice upon the 
platters, sprinkle it upon the blades of KushA grass, 
.and place the remainder upon the cow-hide. 

I. 6. 6 

Shunahshepas continues to be the reciter ; the deity is Indra ; 
the metr£ Pankti. 

1. Veracious drinker of the Soma juice, although 
we be unworthy, do thou, Indra, of boundless wealth, 
enrich us with thousands of excellent cows and horses. 

2. Thy benevolence, handsome and mighty lord 
of food, endures for ever : therefore, Indra, of bound- 
less wealth, enrich us with thousands of excellent 
cows and horses. 

3. Cast asleep (the two female messengers of 
Yama); looking at each other, let them sleep, never 
waking: Indra, of boundless wealth, enrich us with 
thousands of excellent cows and horses. 

4. May those who arc our enemies, slumber, and 
those, O hero, who are our friends, be awake : Indra, 
of boundless wealth, enrich us with thousands of 
excellent cows and horses. 

5. Indra, destroy this ass, (our adversary), praising 
thee with such discordant speech; and do thou, 
Indra, of boundless wealth, enrich us with thousands 
of excellent Cows ’and horses. 

6. Let the (adverse) breeze, with crooked course, 
alight afar off on the forest: Indra, of boundless 

First Mandala 

1 . 6 . 7 ] 


wealth, enrich us with thousands of excellent cows 
and horses. 

7. Destroy every one that reviles us; slay every 
one that does us injury: Indra, of boundless wealth, 
enrich us with thousands of excellent cows and horses. 

I. 6. 7 

The hymn is ascribed to Shunahshepas ; of the twenty-two 
stanzas of which it consists, sixteen are addressed to Indra, three to 
the Ashwins, and three to Ushas or the personified dawn. The 
metre is Gayatri , except in verse 15 , where it is Trishtubh . 

1. Let us, who are desirous of food, satisfy this 
your Indra, who is mighty, and of a hundred sacri- 
fices, with drops (of Soma juice), as a well (is filled) 
(with water). 

2. May he who is (the recipient) of a hundred 
pure, and of a thousand distilled, (libations), come 
(to the rite), as water to low (places). 

3. All which (libations), being accumulated for the 
gratification of the powerful Indra, is contained in 
his belly, as water in the ocean. 

4. This libation is (prepared) for thee: thou 
approaches! it as a pigeon his pregnant (mate), for 
on that account dost thou accept our prayer. 

5. Hero, Indra, lord of affluence, accepter of 
praise, may genuine prosperity be (the reward of him) 
who offers thee laudation. 

6. Rise up, SHATAftRATU, for our defence in this 
conflict; we will talk together in other matters. 

7. On every occasion, in every engagement, we 
invoke as friends the most powerful Indra for our 

40 Rig-veda Translation [1. 6. 7 

8. If he hear our invocation, let him indeed come 
to us with numerous bounties, and with (abundant) 

9. I invoke the man (Indra), who visits many 
worshippers from his ancient dwelling-place, — thee, 
Indra, whom my father formerly invoked. 

10. We implore thee as our friend, who art pre- 
ferred and invoked by all, (to be favourable) to thy 
worshippers, protector of dwellings. 

11. ‘Drinker of the Soma juice, wielder of the 
thunderbolt, O friend, (bestow upon) us, thy friends, 
and drinkers of the Soma juice, (abundance of cows) 
with projecting jaws. 

12. So be it, drinker of the Soma juice, wielder of 
the thunderbolt, our friend, that thou wilt do, 
through thy favour, whatever we desire. 

13. So, Indra, rejoicing along with us, we may 
have (abundant food), and cows may be ours, robust, 
and rich in milk, with which we may be happy. 

14. O DhrishNu, let some such divinity as thou 
art, self-presented, promptly bestow, when solicited, 
(bounties) upon thy praisers, as (they whirl) the axle 
of the wheels (of a car). 

15. Such wealth, Shatakratu, as thy praisers 
desire, thou bestowest Upon them, as the axle (revolves) 
with the movements (of the waggon). 

16. Indra has ever won riches (from his foes), 
with his champing, neighing, and snorting (steeds); 
he, the abounding in acts, the bountiful, has given 
us as a gift a golden chariot. 

17. Ashwins, come hither, with viands borne on 

I. 7. 1] 

First Mandala 


many steeds. Dasras, (let our dwelling) be filled 
with cattle and with gold. ’ 

18. Dasras, your chariot, harnessed for both 
alike, is imperishable; it travels, Ashwins, through 
the air. 

19. You have one wheel on the top of the solid 
(mountain), while the other revolves in the sky. 

20. Ushas, who art pleased by praise, what mortal 
enjoyeth thee, immortal? Whom, mighty one, dost 
thou affect ? 

21. Diffusive, many-tinted, brilliant (UshAs), we 
know not (thy limits), whether they be nigh or remote. 

22. Daughter of heaven, approach with these 
viands, and perpetuate our wealth. 

I. 7. I 

This hymn is addressed to Agni; the Rishi is Hiranyastupa, 
the son of Ang iras. The eighth, sixteenth, and eighteenth stanzas 
are in the Trishtubh metre, the rest in Jagati . 

1. Thou, Agni, wast the first Angiras Rishi ; 
a divinity, thou wast the auspicious friend of the 
deities. In thy rite the wise, the all-discerning, the 
bright-weaponed Maruts were engendered. 

2. Thou, Agni, the first and chiefest Angiras, 
gracest the worship of the gods; sapient, manifold, 
for the benefit of all the world, intelligent, the off- 
spring.of two mothers, and reposing in various ways 
for the use of man. 

3. Agni, pre-eminent over the wind, become 
manifest to the worshipper, in approbation of his 


Rig-veda Translation 

[I. 7. 1 

worship. Heaven' and earth tremble (at thy power); 
thou hast sustained the burthen in the rite for which 
the priest was appointed ; thou, VasIj, hast wor- 
shipped the venerable (gods). 

4. Thou,. Agni, hast announced heaven to Manu ; 
thou hast more than requited Pururavas doing 
homage to thee. When thou art set free by the 
attrition of thy parents, they bear thee first to the 
east, then to the west (of the altar). 

5. Thou, Agni, art the showerer (of desires), the 
augmenter of the prosperity (of thy worshipper); 
thou art to be called upon as the ladle is lifted up; 
upon him who fully understands the invocation and 
makes the oblation, thou, the provider of sustenance, 
first bestowest light, and then upon all men. 

6. Agni, excellently wise, thou directest the man 
who follows improper paths, to acts that are fitted 
to reclaim him; thou who, in the strife of heroes, 
(grateful to them) as widely-scattered wealth, destrjy- 
est in the combat the mighty by the feeble. 

7. Thou sustainest, Agni, that mortal (who 
worships thee), in the best immortality by daily food : 
thou bestowest on the sage, who is desirous (of 
creatures) of both kinds of birth, happiness and 

8. Agni, who art praised by us for the sake of 
wealth, render illustrious the performer of the rite; may 
we improve the act by a new offspring (given by thee). 
Preserve us, heaven and earth, along with the gods. 

9. Irreproachable Agni, a vigilant god amongst 
the gods, (abiding) in the proximity of (thy) parents, 

First Mandala 


1. 7. 1] 

and bestowing upon us embodied "(progeny), awake 
us. Be well disposed to the offerer of the oblation ; 
for thou, auspicious Agni, graritest all riches. 

10. Thou, Agni, art well disposed to us, thou art 
our protector, thou art the giver of life to us; we 
are thy kinsmen. Unin jura ble Agni, hundreds and 
thousands of treasures belong to thee, who art the 
defender of pious acts and attended by good men. 

11. The gods formerly made thee, Agni, the living 
general of the mortal NahIjsha : they made Ila, the 
instructress of ManIj, when the son of my father 
was born. 

12. Agni, who art worthy to be praised, preserve 
us who are opulent with thy bounties, and also the 
persons (of our sons) : thou art the defender of cattle 
for the son of my son, who is ever assiduous in thy 

13. Thou, four-eyed Agni, blazest as the protector 
of the worshipper, who art at hand for the (security 
of the) uninterrupted (rite); thou cherishest in thy 
mind the prayer of thine adorer, who offers the 
oblation to thee, the harmless, the benevolent. 

14. Thou, Agni, desirest (that the worshipper 
may acquire) that excellent wealth which is requisite 
for the many-commended priest: thou art called the 
well-intentioned protector. Thou, who art all-wise, 
instructest the disciple, and (definest) the points 
of the horizon. 

15. Agni, thou defendest the man who gives 
presents (to the priests) on every side, like well- 
stitched armour. The man who keeps choice viands in 


Rig-veda Translation 

[I. 7. 2 

his dwelling, and«with them entertains (his guests), per- 
forms the sacrifice of life, and is the likeness of heaven. 

16. Agni, forgive us this our negligence, this 
path in which we have gone astray; thou art to be 
sought as the protector and encourager of those who 
offer suitable libations; thou art the fulfiller (of the 
end of rites), thou makest thyself visible to mortals. 

17. Pure Agni, who goest about (to receive obla- 
tions), go in thy presence to the hall of sacrifice, as 
did Manu, and ANgiras, and Yayati, and others of 
old: bring hither the divine personages, seat them on 
the sacred grass, and offer them grateful (sacrifice). 

18. Agni, do thou thrive through this our prayer, 
which we make according to our ability, according 
to our knowledge: do thou, therefore, lead us to 
opulence, and endow us with right understanding, 
securing (abundant) food. 

I. 7. 2 >/ - 


The Rishi and metre are the same : the hyfnn is addressed to 

1. I declare the former valorous deeds of Indra, 

which the thunderer has achieved : he clove the 

cloud ; he cast the waters down (to earth) ; he broke 
(a way) for the torrents of the mountain. 

2. He clove the cloud, seeking refuge on the 
mountain: Twashtri sharpened his far-whirling bolt: 
the flowing waters quickly hastened to the ocean, like 
cows (hastening) to their calves. 

3. Impetuous as a bull, he quaffed the Soma juice ; 
he drank of the libation at the triple sacrifice. 

I. 7. 2] 

First Mandala 


Maghavan took his shaft, the thunderbolt, and with 
it struck the first born of the clouds. 
v/4. Inasmuch, InIdra, as thou hast divided the 
first-born of the clouds, thou hast destroyed the 
delusions of the deluders, and then engendering the 
sun, the dawn, the firmament, thou hast not left an 
enemy (to oppose thee). 

5. With his vast destroying thunderbolt, Indra 
struck the darkling mutilated Vritra: as the trunks 
of trees are felled by the axe, so lies Ahi prostrate 
on the earth. 

6. The arrogant VriTra, as if unequalled, defied 
Indra, the mighty hero, the destroyer of many, the 
scatterer of foes ; — he has not escaped the contact 
of the fate of (Indra’s) enemies. The foe of Indra 
has crushed the (banks of the) rivers. 

7. Having neither hand nor foot, he defied Indra, 
who struck him with the thunderbolt upon his 
mountain-like shoulder, like one emasculated who 
pretends to virility; then Vritra, mutilated of many 
members, slept. 

8. The waters, that delight the minds (of men), 
flow over him, recumbent on this earth, as a river 
(bursts through) its broken (banks). Ahi has been 
prostrated beneath the feet of the waters, which 
Vritra, by his might, had obstructed. 

9. The mother of Vritra was bending over her 
son, when Indra struck her nether part with his shaft ; 
so the mother was above and the son underneath, 
and Danu slept (with her son), like a cow with its 

46 Rig-veda Translation [1. 7. 2 

10. The waters carry off the nameless body of 
Vritra, tossed into the midst of the never-stopping, 
n fever-res ting currents. The foe of Indra has slept 
a long darkness. 

11. The waters, the wives of the destroyer, 
guarded by Am, stood obstructed, like the cows by 
Panin; but by laying Vritra, Indra set open the 
cave that had confined them. 

12. When the single resplendent Vritra returned 
the biow (which had been inflicted), Indra, by thy 
thunderbolt, thou becamest (furious), like a horse’s 
tail. Thou hast rescued the kine; thou hast won, 
Hero, the Soma juice; thou hast let loose the seven 
rivers to flow. 

13. Neither the lightning nor the thunder (dis- 
charged by Vritra), nor the rain which he showered, 
nor the thunderbolt, harmed Indra, when he and 
Ahi contended and Maghavat triumphed also over 
other (attacks). 

14. When fear entered, INdra, into thy heart 
when about to slay Ahi, what other destroyer of him 
didst thou look for, that, alarmed, thou didst traverse 
ninety and nine streams like a (swift) hawk ? 

15. Then Indra, the wielder of the thunderbolt, 
became the sovereign of all that is moveable or im- 
moveable, of hornless and horned cattle; and as he 
abides the monarch of men, he comprehended all 
things (within him), as the circumference compre- 
hends the spokfcs of a wheel. 

1. 7. 3] First Mandala 47 

I. 7. 3 

The Rishf is, as before, Hiranyastupa. Indra also is the 
divinity ; the metre is Trishtubh . * 

1. Come, let us repair to Indra, (to recover our 
stolen cattle), for he, devoid of malice, exhilarates 
our minds; thereupon he will bestow upon us per- 
fect knowledge of this wealth, (which consists) of 

2. I fly, like a hawk to its cherished nest, to that 
Indra who is to be invoked by his worshippers in 
battle, glorifying with excellent hymns, him who is 
invincible and the giver of wealth. 

3. The commander of the whole host has bound 
his quiver (on his back): the lord drives the cattle 
(to the dwelling) of whom he pleases. Mighty 
Indra, bestowing upon us abundant wealth, take not 
advantage of us like a dealer. 

4. Verily, Indra, thou hast slain the wealthy 
barbarian with thine adamantine (bolt); thou, singly 
assailing (him), although with auxiliaries (the Maruts ) 
at hand. Perceiving the impending manifold des- 
tructiveness of thy bow, they, the Sanakas, the neglec- 
ters of sacrifice, perished. 

5. The neglecters of sacrifice, contending with 
the sacrificers, Indra, fled with averted faces. Indra, 
fierce, unyielding, lord of steeds, (they disappeared) 
when thou didst blow the disregarded of religion 
from off the heaven, and earth, and sky. 

6. (The adherents of VritraJ encountered the 
army of the irreproachable (Indra); men of holy 
lives encouraged him. Scattered before him, cons- 


Rig-veda Translation 

[I. 7. 3 

cious (of their inferiority), like the emasculated con- 
tending with men, they* fled by precipitous paths. 

7., Thou hast destroyed thejn. Tndra, whether 
weeping or laughing, on the farthest verge of the 
sky ; thou hast consumed the robber, (having dragged 
him) from heaven, and hast received the praises of 
the worshipper, praising thee and offering libations. 

8. Decorated with gold and jewels, they were 
spreading over the circuit of the earth; but mighty 
as they, were, they triumphed not over Tndra: he 
dispersed them with the (rising) sun. 

9. Tndra, as thou enjoyest both heaven and earth, 
investing the universe with thy magnitude, thou hast 
blown away the robber with the prayers which are 
repeated on behalf of those who do not comprehend 

10. When the waters descended not upon the 
ends of the earth, and overspread not that giver of 
affluence with its productions, then Tndra, the 
showerer, grasped his bolt, and with its brightness 
milked out the waters from the darkness. 

11. The waters flowed to provide the food of 
Tndra, but (Vritra) increased in the midst of the 
navigable (rivers); then Tndra, with his fatal and 
powerful shaft, slew Vritra, whose thoughts were 
ever turned towards him. 

12. Tndra set free (the waters) obstructed by 
(VrjTra), when sleeping in the caverns of the earth, 
and slew the homed dryer up (of the world). Thou, 
MagDavan, with equal swiftness and strength, didst 


I. 7. 4] First Makdala 

kill with thy thunderbolt tfye enemy defying thee to 

13. The weapon of Indra fell upon his adversaries ; 
with his sharp and excellent (shaft) he destroyed their 
cities ; he then reached Vritra with his thunderbolt, 
and (by) slaying him, exhilarated his mind. 

14. Thou, INdra, hast protected KutSa, grateful 
for his praises: thou hast defended the excellent 
Dashapyu engaged in battle : the dust of thy courser’s 
hoofs ascended to heaven : the son of SfrfwiTRA. 
(through thy favour), rose up, to be again upborne 
by men. 

15. Thou hast protected, Maghavan, the excellent 
son of Shwitra, when combating for his lands, and 
encouraged (by thee) when immersed in water; do 
thou inflict sharp pains on those of hostile minds, 
who have long stood (in enmity) against us. 

r. 7. 4 

The Rishi is the same ; the hymn is addressed to the AshwiNS ; 
the metre is Trishtubh , except in the ninth and twelfth stanzas, 
in which it is Jagati. 

1. Wise Asjiwins, be present with us thrice to-day: 
vast is your vehicle, as well as your munificence: 
your union is like that of the shining (day) and dewy 
(night): (suffer yourselves) to be detained by the 
learned (priests). 

2. Three are the solid (wheels) of your abundance- 
bearing chariot, as all (the gods) 'have known (it to 
be), when attendant on Vena, the beloved of Soma: 
three are the columns placed (above it) for support. 

50 Rig-veda Translation [1. 7. 4 

and in it thrice do .you journey by night, and thrice 
by day. 

3. ' Thrice in one entire day do you repair the 
faults (of your worshippers) : thrice to-day sprinkle 
the oblation with sweetness; and thrice, evening 
and morning, AshwiNS, grant us strength-bestowing 

4. Thrice, Ashwins, visit our dwelling, and the 
man who is well-disposed towards us: thrice repair 
to him’ who deserves your protection, and instruct 
us in threefold knowledge: thrice grant us gratifying 
(rewards): thrice shower upon us food, as (Indra 
pours down) rain. 

, 5. Ashwins, thrice bestow upon us riches: thrice 
approach the divine rite : thrice preserve our 

intellects: thrice grant us prosperity, thrice food. 
The daughter of the sun has ascended your three- 
wheeled car. 

6. Thrice grant us, Ashwins, the medicaments of 
heaven, and those of earth, and those of the firma- 
ment: give to my son the prosperity of ShANYu: 
cherishers of wholesome (herbs), preserve the well- 
being of the three humours (of the body). 

7. Ashwins, who are to be thrice worshipped, 
day by day, repose on the triple (couch of) sacred 
grass upon the earth, (that forms the altar): car- 
borne Nasatyas, repair from afar to the threefold 
(place of sacrifice), as the vital air to (living) bodies. 

8. Come, Ashwins, thrice, with the seven mother- 
streams: the three rivers are ready; the triple obla- 
tion is prepared; rising above the three worlds, you 

I. 7. 5] 

First Mandala 


defend the sun in the sky, wh* is established for 
both night and day. 

9. Where, Nasatyas, are the three wheels of 
your triangular car ? where the three fastenings and 
props (of the awning) ? When will be the harnessing 
of the powerful ass, that you may come to the sacri- 
fice ? 

10. Come, Nasatyas, to the sacrifice: the obla- 
tion is offered; drink the juice with mouths that 
relish the sweet savour. Before the dawA, even, 
Savitri sends (to bring you) to the rite, your wonder- 
ful car shining with clarified butter. 

11. Come, Nasatyas, with the thrice eleven 
divinities: come, Ashwiks, to drink the oblation: 
prolong our lives, efface our faults, restrain our 
enemies, and be ever with us. 

12. Borne in your car that traverses the three 
worlds, bring to us, Ashwins, present affluence, 
attended by (male) progeny: I call upon you both, 
listening to me, for protection; be to us for vigour 
in battle. 

I. 7. 5 

The Rishi is the same ; the first and ninth verses are in the 
Jagati metre, the rest in the Trhhtubh. The divinity of the whole 
hymn is Savitri, but in the first verse Agn., Mitra, Varuna. and 
Night are included as subordinate or associated deities. 

1. I invoke Acni first, for protection: I invoke 
for protection, Mitra and VarunA : I' invoke Night, 
who brings rest to the world: I invoke the divine 
Savitri for my preservation. 

52 Rig-veda Translation [1. 7. 5 

2. Revolving through the darkened firmament, 
arousing mortal and immortal, the divine Savitri 
travfels in his golden chariot, beholding the (several) 

• 3. The divine SavItri travels by an upward and 
by a downward path: deserving adoration, he 

journeys with two white horses : he comes hither 
from a distance, removing all sins. 

4. The many-rayed adorable Savitri, having 
power (to disperse) darkness from the world, has 
mounted his nigh-standing chariot, decorated with 
many kinds of golden ornaments, and furnished 
with golden yokes. 

5. His white-footed coursers, harnessed to his 
car with a golden yoke, have manifested light to 
mankind. Men and all the regions are ever in the 
presence of the divine SaVitri. 

6. Three are the spheres; two are in the proxi- 
mity of Savitri, one leads men to the dwelling of 
Yama. The immortal (luminaries) depend upon 
Savitri as a car upon the pin of the axle; let him 
who knows (the greatness of Savitri) declare it. 

7. Supama, (the solar ray), deep-quivering, life- 
bestowing, well-directed, has illuminated the three 
regions. Where now is Surya ? Who knows to 
what sphere his rays have extended ? 

8. He has lighted up the eight points of the hori- 
zon, the three regions of living beings, the seven 
rivers; may the ’golden-eyed. Savitri come hither, 
bestowing upon the offerer of the oblation desirable 

X. 8. 1] 

First Mandala 


9. The gold-handed, all^beholding Savitri travels 
between the two regions of heaven and earth, dispels 
diseases, approaches the sun, and overspreads the 
sky with gloom, alternating radiance. 

10. May the golden-handed, life-bestowing, well- 
guiding, exhilarating, and affluent Savitri, be present 
(at the sacrifice); for the deity, if worshipped in the 
evening, is at hand, driving away Rakshasas and 

11. Thy paths, Savitri, are prepared of old, are 
free from dust, and well placed in the firmament; 
(coming) by those paths easy to be traversed, preserve 
us to-day. Deity, speak to us. 


I. 8. 1 

The Rishi is Kanwa, son of Ghora ; the deity is Agni. The 
metre of the odd verses is Brihati , having twelve syllables in the third 
Pada or quarter of the stanza ; the metre of the even verses is termed 
Satobrihati , having the first and third Padas equal. 

1. We implore with sacred hymns the mighty 
Agni, whom other ( Rishis ) also praise, for the benefit 
of you, who are many people, worshipping the gods. 

2. Men have recourse to Agni, the augmenter of 

vigour: offering oblations, we worship thee: do 

thou, liberal giver of food, be well disposed to us 
here this day, and be our protector. 

3. We select thee, Agni, the messenger and in- 
voker of the gods, who art endowed with all know- 
ledge. The flames of thee, who art mighty and eternal, 
spread around thy rays, touch the heavens. 


Rig-veda Translation 

[ 1 . 8. 1 

4. The deities \Jaruna, MItra, and Aryaman 
kindle thee, (their) ancienf messenger. The man who 
‘ has Offered thee (oblations), obtains through thee, 
Agm, universal wealth. 

• 5. Thou, Agni, art the giver of delight, the invoker 
and messenger of the gods, the domestic guardian 
of mankind: the good and durable actions which 
the gods perform are all aggregated in thee. 

6. Youthful and auspicious Agni, whatever obla- 
tion may“be presented to thee, do thou, well disposed 
towards us, either now or at any other time, convey 
it to the powerful gods. 

7. In this manner the devout adore thee, who 
art such (as described), bright with thine own radiance. 
Men, with (seven) ministrant priests, kindle Agni 
( with oblations), victorious over their enemies. 

8. The destroying (deities along with thee) have 
slain Vritra: they have made earth and heaven and 
the firmament the spacious dwelling-place (of living 
creatures): may Agni, possessed of wealth, when 
invoked, be a benefactor to Kanwa, like a horse 
that neighs in a conflict for cattle. 

9. Take your seat, Agni, on the sacred grass, for 
thou art mighty; shine forth, for thou art devoted 
to the gods : adorable and excellent Agni, emit the 
moving and graceful smoke. 

10. Bearer of oblations, (thou art he) whom the 
gods detained for the sake of Manu; whom, giver 
of wealth, Kanwa," the host of pious guests, has 
detained; whom Indra detained, and whom (now) 
some other worshipper has detained. 

First Mandala 


1 . 8 . 1 ] 

11. The rays of that Agni, whcpn KaNWa made 
more brilliant than the sun,’ pre-eminently shine: 
him do these our hymns, him do we, extol. 

12. Agni, giver of food, complete our treasures, 
for the friendship of the gods is obtainable through 
thee. Thou art lord over famous viands : make us 
happy, for thou art great. 

13. Stand up erect for our protection, like the 
divine Savitri : erect, thou art the giver of food, for 
which we invoke thee with unguents, and priests 
(offering oblations). 

14. Erect, preserve us by knowledge from sin : 
consume every malignant spirit: raise us aloft, that 
we may pass (through the world); and that we may 
live, convey our wealth (of oblations) to the gods. 

1 5. Youthful and most resplendent Agni, protect 
us against evil spirits, and from the malevolent (man), 
who gives no gifts : protect us from noxious (animals), 
and from those who seek to kill us. 

16. Agni, with the burning rays, destroy entirely 
our foes, who make no gifts, as (potters’ ware) with 
a club : let not one who is inimical to us, nor the man 
who attacks us with sharp weapons, prevail against 

17. Agni is solicited for power-conferring (afflu- 
ence); he has granted prosperity to Kanwa, he 
has protected our friends, as well as the (sage who 
was) the host of the holy, and (every other) worshipper 
(who has had recourse to hi,m) for riches: 

18. We invoke from afar, along with Agni, 
Turvasha, Yadu, and Ugradeva: let Agni, the 

56 Rig-veDa Translation [1. 8. 2 

arrester of the robber, bring hither Navavastwa. 
Brihadratha, and Tokyrn. 

.19. Manu detained thee, Agni, (to give) light to 
the various races of mankind. Born for the sake of 
sacrifice, and satiated with oblations, thou, whom 
men reverence, hast blazed for Kanwa. 

20. The flames of Agni are luminous, powerful, 
fearful, and not to be trusted. Ever assuredly and 
entirely consume the mighty spirits of evil and all 
our Qther adversaries. 

I. 8. 2 

The Rishi is Kanwa ; the hymn is addressed to the Maruts ; 
the metre is Gayatri . 

1. Celebrate, Kanwas, the aggregate strength of 
the Maruts, sportive, without horses, but shining in 
their car. 

2. Who, borne by spotted deer, were born self- 
radiant, with weapons, war-cries, and decorations. 

3. I hear the cracking of the whips in their hands, 
wonderfully inspiring (courage) in the fight. 

4. Address the god-given prayer to those who are 
your strength, the destroyers of foes, the powerful, 
possessed of brilliant reputation. 

5. Praise the sportive and resistless might of the 
Maruts, who were born amongst kine, and whose 
strength has been nourished by (the enjoyment of) 
the milk. 

6. Which is ehief leader among you, agitators of 
heaven and earth, who shake all around like the top 
(of a tree)? 

First Mandala 


I. 8. 3] 

7. The householder, in dread of your fierce and 
violent approach, has planted »a firm (buttreess); for 
the many-ridged mountain is shattered (before you). 

8. At whose impetuous approach, earth trembles 
like an enfeebled monarch through dread (of his 

9. Stable is their birthplace, (the sky), yet the 
birds (are able) to issue from (the sphere of) their 
parent; for your strength is everywhere (divided) 
between two (regions, or heaven and earth). > 

10. They are the generators of speech : they 
spread out the waters in their courses: they urge 
the lowing (cattle) to enter (the water) up to their 
knees (to drink). 

11. They drive before them in their course, the 
long, vast, uninjurable, rain-retaining cloud. 

12. MaRuts, as you have vigour, invigorate man- 
kind; give animation to the clouds. 

13. Wherever the Maruts pass, they fill the way 
with clamour: every one hears their (noise). 

14. Come quickly, with your swift (vehicles): the 
offerings of the Kanwas are prepared; be pleased 
with them. 

15. The offering is prepared for your gratification : 
we are your (worshippers), that we may live all our life. 

I. 8. 3 

The Rishi, deities, and metre continue the same. 

1. Maruts, who are fond of prajse, and for whom 
the sacred grass is trimmed, when will you take us 
by both hands as a father does his son ? 


Rig-veda Translation 


2. Where indeed are you (at present) ? When will 
your arrival take 4 place.? Pass from the heaven, not 
from the earth. Where do they who worship you 
cry (to you) like cattle ? 

3. Where, MARuts, are your new treasures ? 
where your valuable (riches) ? where all your auspi- 
cious (gifts)? 

4. That you, sons of PrisHni, may become mortals, 
and your panegyrist become immortal. 

5. Never may your worshipper be indifferent to 
you, as a deer (is never indifferent) to pasture, so 
that he may not tread the path of Y ama. 

6. Let not the most powerful and indestructible 
Nirriti destroy us; let him perish with our (evil) 

7. In truth the brilliant and vigorous Maruts, 
cherished by RuOra, send down rain without wind 
upon the desert. 

8. The lightning roars like a parent cow that 
bellows for its calf, and hence the rain is set free by 
the MaruTs. 

9. They spread darkness over the day by a water- 
bearing cloud, and thence inundate the earth. 

10. At the roaring of the Maruts, every dwelling 
of earth (shakes), and men also tremble. 

11. Maruts, with strong hands, come along the 
beautifully-embanked rivers w'ith unobstructed pro- 

12. May the felloes of your wheels be firm; may 
your cars and their steeds be steady, and your fingers- 
well skilled (to hold the reins). 

1. 8. 4] First Mandala 59* 

13. Declare in our presence, ^priests), with voice 
attuned to praise Brahmanaspati, Agni, and the 
beautiful Mitra. 

14. Utter the verse that is in your mouths, spread 
it out like a cloud spreading rain : chant the measured- 

15. Glorify the host of Maruts, brilliant, deserv- 
ing of praise, entitled to adoration : may they be 
exalted by this our worship. 

I. 8. 4 

The Rishi and deities are the same ; the metre is Brihati in the 
odd verses, Satobrihati in the even. 

1. When Maruts, who make (all things) tremble, 
you direct your awful (vigour) downwards from afar, 
as light (descends from heaven), by whose worship, 
by whose praise (are you attracted) ? to what (place 
of sacrifice), to whom, indeed, do you repair ? 

2. Strong be your weapons for driving away 
(your) foes, firm in resisting them : yours be the 
strength that merits praise, not (the strength) of 
a treacherous mortal. 

3. Directing Maruts, when you demolish what is 
stable, when you scatter what is ponderous, then you 
make your way through the forest (trees) of eaith 
and the defiles of the mountains. 

4. Destroyers of foes, no adversary of yours is 
known above the heavens, nor (is any)' upon earth ; 
may your collective strength be quickly exerted, 
sons of Rudra, to humble (your enemies). 

■60 Rig-veda Translation [i. 8. 5 

5. They make tfie mountains tremble, they drive 
apart the forest-trees. Go, divine Maruts, whither 
you ‘will, with all your progeny, like those intoxicated. 

6. You have harnessed the spotted deer to your 
chariot; the red deer yoked between them, (aids 
to) drag the car: the firmament listens for your 
coming, and men are alarmed. 

7. RudRas, we have recourse to your assistance 
for the sake of our progeny: come quickly to the 
timid Kanwa, as you formerly came, for our pro- 

8. Should any adversary, instigated by you, or 
by man, assail us, withhold from him food and 
strength and your assistance. 

9. Prachetasas, who are to be unreservedly 
worshipped, uphold (the sacrificer) Kanwa : come to 
us, Maruts, with undivided protective assistances, 
as the lightning (bring) the rain. 

10. Bounteous givers, you enjoy unimpaired 
vigour: shakers (of the earth), you possess undimi- 
nished strength: Maruts, let loose your anger, 
like an arrow, upon the wrathful enemy of the Rishis. 

1. 8. 5 

The deity is Brahamanaspati : the Jtishi is still Kanwa ; the 
metre the same as in the preceding* 

1. Rise up, Brahmanaspati : devoted to the gods, 
we solicit thee. Bounteous Maruts, be nigh at hand : 
Indra, be a ‘partaker of the libation. 

2. Man celebrates thee, son of strength, for the 
wealth abandoned (by the foe). Maruts, may he 

1. 8. 5] First Mandala 61* 

who praises you obtain wealth*, yielding excellent 
steeds and eminent vigour. 

3. May Brahmanaspati approach us : may the 
goddess, speaker of truth, approach us : may the 
gods (drive away) every adversary, and, present, 
conduct us to the sacrifice which is beneficial to man, 
and (abounds) with respectably-presented offerings. 

4. He who presents to the ministrant (priest)* 
wealth fit to be accepted, enjoys inexhaustible abun- 
dance: for him we worship Ila, attended by brave 
warriors, inflicting much injury, receiving none. 

5. Verily Brahmanaspati proclaims the sacred 
prayer, in which the divinities, Tndra, Varuna, 
Mitra and Aryaman, have made their abode. 

6. Let us recite, gods, that felicitous and faultless 
prayer at sacrifices: if you, leaders, desire (to hear) 
this prayer, then will all that is to be spoken reach 
unto you. 

7. Who, (except BrahSmanaspati), may approach 
the man who is devoted to the gods, by whom the 
clipped sacred grass is spread : the giver of the obla- 
tion has proceeded with the priests (to the hall of 
sacrifice), for he has a dwelling (abounding) internally 
with precious things. 

8. Let Brahmanaspati concentrate his strength: 
associated with the regal (divinities), he slays (the 
foe) : in the time of danger he maintains his station : 
armed with the thunderbolt, there is no encourager 
nor discourager of him in a great battle or a small. 

62 Rig- veda Translation [1. 8. 6 

«' I. 8. 6 

The Rishi is Kanwa : the three first and the three last stanzas 
are addressed to Varuna, Mitra, and Aryaman ; the middle three 
to the Adityas : the metre is GayatrL 

1. The man whom the wise Varuna, Mitra, and 
Aryaman protect quickly subdues (his foes). 

2. He whom they heap (with riches), as if (collected) 
by his own arms ; the man whom they defend from 
the malignant; every such man, safe from injury, 

3. The kings (Varuna, etc.) first destroy their 
strongholds, and then the foes of those (who worship 
them), and put aside their evil deeds. 

4. Adityas, to you repairing to the sacrifice, the 
path is easy and free from thorns: no unworthy, 
oblation is here prepared for you. 

5. Adityas, guides, may the sacrifice which you 
come to by a straight path, be to you for your grati- 

6. That mortal (whom you favour), exeinpt from 
harm, obtains all valuable wealth, and offspring like 

7. How, my friends, shall we recite praise (worthy) 
of the great glory of MiTKa, Varuna, and Aryaman ? 

8. I do not denounce to you him who assails or 
reviles the man devoted to the gods ; I rather propi- 
tiate you with offered wealth. 

9. For he (the worshipper) loves not, but fears 
to speak evil ,(of any one), as a gamester fears (his 
adversary) holding the four (dice), until they are 

I. 8. 7] 

First Mandala 


I. 8. 7 » 

Rishi and metre as before ; the deity is Pushan. 

1. Pushan, convey us over the road, remove th*e 
wicked (obstructer of the way). Son of the cloud, 
deity, go before us. 

2. If a wicked (adversary), Pushan, a robber, or 
one who delights in evil, points out to us (the way 
we ought not to go), do thou drive him from the road. 

3. Drive him far away, apart from the road, the 
hinderer of our journey, a thief, a deceiver. * 

4. Trample with your feet upon the mischievous 
(body) of that evil-minded pilferer of both (what is 
present and what is absent), whoever he be. 

5. Sagacious and handsome Pushan, we solicit 
of thee that protection wherewith thou hast encour- 
aged the patriarchs. 

6. Therefore do thou, who art possessed of all 
prosperity, and well equipped with golden weapons, 
bestow upon us riches that may be liberally distributed. 

7. Lead us past our opponents; conduct us by 
an easy path; know, Pushan, how to protect us on 
this (journey). 

8. Lead us where there is abundant fodder; let 
there be no extreme heat by the way ; Pushan, know 
how to protect us on this (journey). 

9. Be favourable to us, fill us (with abundance), 
give us (all good things), sharpen us (with vigour), 
fill our bellies; Pushan, know how to protect 
us on thir (journey). 

1 0. We do not censure Pushan, but praise him with 
hymns ; we solicit the good-looking (Pushan) for riches. 


Rig-veda Translation 

p. 8. 8 

1 , I. 8. 8 

« The Rishi is the same ; the deity is Rudra ; the third stanza is 
addressed to Mitra and Varuna also, and the last three verses to 
Soma ; the metre of the last verse is Anushtubh , of the rest, Gayatrl 

1. When may we repeat a most grateful hymn 
to the wise, the most bountiful and mighty Rudra, 
who is (cherished) in our hearts ? 

2. By which earth may (be induced to) grant the 
gifts % of Rudra to our cattle, our people, our cows, 
and our progeny. 

3. By which Mitra, and Varuna, and Rudra, 
and all the gods, being gratified, may show us (favour), 

4. We ask the felicity of ShaNyu, from Rudra, 
the encourager of hymns, the protector of sacrifices, 

..possessed of medicaments that confer delight. 

5. Who is so brilliant as Shanyu, who gratifies 
like gold, the best of the gods, the provider of habi- 
tations ? 

6. Who bestows easily-obtained happiness on 
our steeds, our rams, our ewes, our men, our women, 
and our cows ? 

7. SomA, grant us prosperity more than (sufficient 
for) a hundred men, and much strength-engendering 

8. Let not the adversaries of SOMA, let not our 
enemies, harm us : cherish us, Indra, with (abundant) 

9 . Soma, who art immortal, and abidest in an 
excellent dwelling, have regard for thy subjects, 
when at their head in the hall of sacrifice thou 
observest them (engaged in) decorating thee. 

1. 9 . 1] First Mandala 65 


1. 9. 1 ’ 

Praskanwa, the son of Kanwa, is the Rishi ; Agni is the deity; 
but the two first verses are addressed also to the Ashwjns and to 
Ushas (the dawn); the metre is Brihati in the odd verses, Satobrihati 
in the even. 

]. Agni, who art immortal, and cognisant of all 
begotten things, bring from the dawn to the donor 
(of the oblation) wealth of many sorts, with an excellent 
habitation : bring hither to-day the gods avfeking 
with the morning. 

2. For thou, Agni, art the accepted messenger of 

the gods, the bearer of oblations, the vehicle of sacri- 
fices: associated with Ushas and the Ashwins, 

bestow upon us abundant and invigorating food. 

3. We select to-day Agni, the messenger, the 
giver of dwellings, the beloved of many, the smoke- 
bannered, the light-shedding, the protector of the 
worship of the worshipper at the break of day. 

4. I praise Agni at the break of day, the best and 
youngest (of the gods), the guest (of man), the uni- 
versally-invoked, who is friendly to the man that 
offers (oblations), who knows all that are born, that 
he may go (to bring) the other divinities. 

5. Agni, immortal sustainer of the universe, 
bearer of oblations, deserving of adoration, I will 
praise thee, who art exempt from death, the preserver, 
the sacrificer. 

6. Juvenile Agni, whose flames delight, who art 
universally invoked, and art praised (by us) on behalf 
of the worshipper, understand (our wishes), and. 

66 RiovEbA Translation [1. 9. 1 

granting Praska^wa # to live a lengthened life, do 
honour to the divine man. 

*7. All people kindle thee, Agni, the sacrificer, the 
omniscient; do thou, Agni, who art invoked by 
many, quickly bring hither the sapient deities. 

8. Object of holy rites, (bring hither) on the dawn 
following the night, Savitri, Ushas, the Ashwins, 
Bhaga, and Agni : the Kanxvas pouring out libations, 
kindle the wafter of the burnt offering. 

9. *Thou, Agni, art the protector of the sacrifices 
of the people, and the messenger (of the gods) ; bring 
hither to-day the gods awaking at dawn, and con- 
templating the sun, to drink the Sofna juice. 

10. Resplendent Agni, visible to all, thou hast 
blazed after many preceding dawns, thou art the 
protector (of people) in villages, thou art the asso- 
ciate of man placed on the east (of the altar). 

11. We place thee, Agni, as Manu placed thee, 
who art the implement of sacrifice, the invoker, the 
ministering priest, very wise, the destroyer (of foes), 
immortal, the messenger (of the gods). 

12. When, cherisher of friends, thou art present 
as the Purohita at a sacrifice, and discharges! the 
mission to the gods, then thy flames roar like the 
resounding billows of the ocean. 

13. Agni, with sharp ears, hear me: let Mitra 
and Aryaman, and (other) early-stirring deities, 
with all the accompanying oblation-bearing gods, 
sit down at' the ‘sacrifice upon the sacred grass. 

14. Let the munificent Maruts, who have tongues 
of fire, and are encouragers of sacrifice, hear our 

First Mandala 

I. 9. 2] 


praise: let the rite-fulfilling Varuna, with the 

AShwins, and with Ushas, drink the Soma juice. 

I. 9. 2 

The deity and Rishi are the same, except in the last stanza and 
the half of the preceding, which include any deified being ; the metre 
is Anushtubh . 

1. Agni, do thou, in this our rite, worship the 
Vasus, the Rudras, the Adityas, or any other 
(living) being sprung from Manu, sacrificing well 
and sprinkling water. 

2. Verily the discriminating gods are givers of 
rewards to the offerer (of oblations): lord of red 
coursers, propitiated by our praises, bring hither the 
three and thirty divinities. 

3. Agni, accomplisher of solemn acts, cognisant 
of all who are born, hear the invocation of Pras- 
kanwa, as thou hast heard those of Priyamedha, of 
Aral, of VirXjpa, of Angiras. 

4. The performers of great ceremonies, the 
offerers of acceptable sacrifices, have invoked for 
(their protection), Agni, shining amidst the solemnities, 
with pure resplendence. 

5. Invoked by oblations, giver of rewards, listen 
to these praises with which the sons of Kanwa invoke 
thee for protection. 

6. A'GNI, granter of abundant sustenance, who art 
beloved of many, the sons of men invoke thee, radiant- 
haired, to bear the oblation (to the gods). ‘ 

7. The wise have placed thee, Agni, in (their) 
sacrifices as the invoker, the ministrant priest, the 

68 Rig-veda Translation [1. 9. 3 

donor of vast Wealtji, the quick-hearing, the far- 

8. The wise (priests), with effused libations of 
Sdma juice, have summoned thee, vast and brilliant 
Agni, to partake of the (sacrificial food), as they hold 
the oblation on the part of the individual who pre- 
sents it. 

9. Strength-generated, giver of rewards, provider 
of dwellings, place here to-day upon the sacred grass 
the riiorning-moving deities, or (other) deified being, 
to drink the Soma juice. 

10. Worship with conjoint invocations, Agni, 

the present deified being: bounteous divinities, 

this is the Soma juice ; drink it, for it was yesterday 

I. 9. 3 

The Rishi as before ; the deities are the Ashwins ; the metre 
is GayatrL 

1. The beloved Ushas, until now unseen, scatters 
darkness from the sky : Ashwins, I greatly praise you. 

2. Who are divine, of pleasing appearance, children 
of the sea, willing dispensers of wealth, and granted 
of dwellings, (in recompense of) pious acts. 

3. Since your chariot proceeds, (drawn) by your 
steeds, above the glorious heavens, your praises are 
proclaimed (by us). 

4. (Ashwins) ; guides; the sun, (the evaporator) 
of the wafers, *the nourisher, the protector and be- 
holder of the (solemn) rite, nourishes (the gods) with 
our oblation. 

First Maneala 


1. 9. 3] 

5. Nasatyas, accepting our prajses, partake of 

the exhilarating Soma juice, the animator of your 
minds. ' 

6. Ashwins, grant us that invigorating food which 
may satisfy us, having dispelled the gloom (of want). 

7. Come as a ship, to bear us over an ocean of 
praises: harness, Ashwins, your car. 

8. Your vessel, vaster than the sky, stops on 

the seashore: your chariot (waits on the land): 

the drops (of the Soma juice) are expressed for >y our 

9. Kanwas, (ask this of the Ashwins): (How) 
do the rays (of the sun proceed) from the sky ? (How) 
does the dawn (rise) in the region of the waters? 
Where do you desire to manifest your own 
persons ? 

10. There was light to irradiate the dawn : the 
sun (rose) like gold : the fire shone with darkened 

11. A fit path was made for the sun to go beyond 
the boundary (of night); the radiance of the luminary 
became visible. 

12. The worshipper acknowledges whatever boon 
he receives from the AshWins, satiate with the enjoy- 
ment of the Soma juice. 

13. Causers of felicity, co-dwellers with your 
worshipper, as with Manu, come hither to drink of 
the Soma juice, and (accept) our praise. 

14. May Ushas follow the lustre of your approach, 
circumambient Asjhwins, and may you be pleased 
with the oblations offered by night. 


Rig-veda Translation 

[1. 9.4 

15. Ashwins, may you both drink (the libation), 
and bestow upon ‘ us happiness, through your 
i i reproachable protection . 

I. 9. 4 

The Rishi is Praskanwa ; the deities are the Ashwins ; the 
metre of odd verses Brihati , of the even, Satobrihati. 

1. Ashwins, encouragers of sacrifice, this most 
sweet Soma juice is prepared for you; drink it o‘ 
yesterday’s expressing, and grant riches to the donor, 

2. Come, Ashwins, with your three-columned 
triangular car: the Kan’was repeat your praise al 
the sacrifice; graciously hear their invocation. 

3. AshWins, encouragers of sacrifice, drink this 
most sweet Soma juice; approach to-day the giver 
of the offering, you who are of pleasing aspects, 
and bearers of wealth. 

4. Omniscient Ashwins, stationed on the thrice- 
heaped sacred grass, sprinkle the sacrifice with the 
sweet juice : the illustrious Kanwas, with effused 
libations, invoke you. 

5. With such desired aids as you protected 
Kanwa with, do you, cherishers of pious acts, preserve 
us : encouragers of sacrifice, drink the Soma juice. 

6. Good-looking Ashwins, as you brought in 
your car, bearers of wealth, abundance to Sudas, 
so bring to us the riches that many covet, whether 
from the firmament or the sky beyond. 

7. Nasatyas, whether you abide far off or close 
at hand, come to us in your well-constructed car. 
with the rays of the sun. 

1. 9. 5] 

First ManTjala 


8. Let your coursers, the grace of the sacrifice, 
bring you to be present at our rite: guides (of men}- 
bestowing food upon the pious and liberal dbnor 
(of the offering), sit down on the sacred grass. 

9. Come, Nasaty’as, with your sun-clad chariot, in. 
which you have ever conveyed wealth to the donor 
(of the offering), to drink of the sweet Soma juice. 

10. We invoke with chanted and recited hymns,, 
the very affluent AshWins, to be present for our 
protection. Have you not ever drunk the Soma 
juice in the favoured dwelling of the Kanwas? 

I. 9. 5 

The Rishi is the same, but the hymn is addressed to Ushas, the 
personified dawn, or Aurora ; the metre is the same as in the 

1. Ushas, daughter of heaven, dawn upon us with 
riches : diffuser of light, dawn upon us with abundant 
food : bountiful goddess, dawn upon us with wealth 
(of cattle). 

2. Abounding with horses, abounding with kine, 
bestowers of every sort of wealth, (the divinities of 
morning) are possessed of much that is necessary 
for the habitations (of men): Ushas, speak to me 
kind words: send us the affluence of the wealthy. 

3. The divine Ushas has dwelt (in heaven of old) : 
may she dawn to-day, the exci tress of chariots which 
are harnessed at her coming, as those who are de- 
sirous of wealth (send ships) to sea. 

4. Ushas, at thy comings wise men turn their 
minds to benefactions; of these men, the most wise 
Kan\va proclaims the fame. 

72 Rig-veda Translation [J. 9. 5 

5. Ushas, nourishing (all), comes daily like a 
matron, the directress (of household duties), con- 
ducting all transient (creatures) to decay: (at her 
coming) each biped stirs and she wakes up the birds. 

6. She animates the diligent, and sends clients 
(to their patrons) ; and, shedder of dews, knows not 
delay; bestower of food, at thy rising the soaring 
birds no longer suspend (their flight). 

7. This auspicious Ushas has harnessed (her 
vehicles) from afar, above the rising of the sun; and 
she comes gloriously upon man, with a hundred 

8. All living beings adore her, that she may be 
visible: bringer of good, she lights up the world: 
the affluent daughter of heaven drives away the male- 
volent, and disperses the absorbers (of moisture). 

9. Shine around, Ushas, with cheering lustre, 
bringing us every day much happiness, and scattering 

10. Inasmuch, bringer of good, as thou dawnest, 
the breath and life of all (creatures) rest in thee: 
diffuser of light, come to us with thy spacious car: 
possessor of wondrous wealth, hear our invocation. 

11. Ushas, accept the (sacrificial) food which 
of many kinds exists among the human race, and 
thereby bring to the ceremony the pious, who, 
offering oblations, praise thee. 

12. Ushas, bring from the firmament all the gods, 
to drink the Soma juice, and do thou thyself bestow 
upon us excellent and invigorating food, along with 
•cattle and horses. 

First Mandala 


I. 9. 6] 

13. May that Ushas whose brJght auspicious rays 
are visible all around, grant us desirable, agreeable,, 
and easily-attainable riches. 

14. Adorable Ushas, whom the ancient sages 
invoked for protection and for food, do thou, (radiant)* 
with pure light, (pleased) by our offerings, accept our 

15. Ushas, since thou hast to-day set open the 

two gates of heaven with light, grant us a spacious 
and secure habitation : bestow upon us, goddess, 

cattle and food. 

16. Adorable Ushas, associate us with much and 
multiform wealth, and with abundant cattle, with 
all foe-confounding fame, and, giver of sustenance, 
with food. 

T. 9. 6 

The Rishi and deity are the same ; the metre is Anushtubh. 

1. Ushas, come by auspicious ways from above 
the bright (region of the) firmament; let the purple 
(kine) bring thee to the dwelling of the offerer of 
the Soma juice. 

2. Ushas, in the ample and beautiful chariot in 
which thou ridest, come to-day, daughter of heaven 
to the pious offerer of the oblation. 

3. White-complexioned Ushas, upon thy coming, 
bipeds and quadrupeds (are in motion), and the 
winged birds flock around from the boundaries of 
the sky. 

4. Thou, Ushas, dispersing the darkness, illu- 
minest the shining universe with thy rays; such as 

74 Rig-veda Translation [1. 9. 7 

thou art, the KanWas, desirous of wealth, praise thee 
with thsir hymns. 

I. 9. 7 

Praskanwa is still the Rishi; the deity is Surya, the sun. The 
first nine stanzas are in the Gayatri metre, the last four in the 

1. His coursers bear on high the divine all-know- 
ing Sun, that he may be seen by all (the worlds). 

2. (3Vt the approach) of the all-illuminating Sun, 
the constellations depart with the night, like thieves. 

3. His illuminating rays behold men in succession, 
like blazing fires. 

4. Thou, Surya, outstrippest all in speed ; thou 
art visible to all; thou art the source of light; thou 
shinest throughout the entire firmament. 

5. Thou risest in the presence of the Maruts, 
thou risest in the presence of mankind, ar.d so as to 
be seen in the presence of the whole (region) of 

6. With that light with which thou, the purifier 
and defender from evil, lookest upon this creature- 
bearing world, — 

7. Thou traversest the vast ethereal space, 
measuring days and nights, and contemplating all 
that have birth. 

8. Divine and light-diffusing Surya, thy seven 
coursers bear thee, bright-haired, in thy car. 

9. The Sun has yoked the seven mares that 
safely draw his chariot, and comes with them self- 

1 . 10. 1 ] 

First Mandala 


10. Beholding the up-springing, light above the 
darkness, we approach the divine Sun among the 
gods, the excellent light. 

11. Radiant with benevolent light, rising to-day 
and mounting into the highest heaven, do thou, ^ 
O Sun, remove the sickness of my heart, and the 
yellowness (of my body). 

12. Let us transfer the yellowness (of my body)^ 
to the parrots, to the starlings, or to the Haritala 

13. This Aditya has risen with all (his) might, 
destroying my adversary, for I am unable to resist 
my enemy. 

1. 10. 1 

The Rishi is Savya, the son of Angiras; the hymn is addressed 
to In dr a ; the two last verses are in the Trishtubh metre, the rest in 
the Jagati. 

1. Animate with praises that ram, (Indra), who 
is adored by many, who is gratified by hymns, and is 
an ocean of wealth ; whose good deeds spread abroad 
for the benefit of mankind, like the rays of light: 
worship the powerful and wise Indra, for the enjoy- 
ment of prosperity. 

2. The protecting and fostering Ribhus hastened 
to the presence of Indra, of graceful motion, and 
irradiating the firmament, imbued with vigour, the 
humiliator of his enemies, the performer of a hundred 
pious acts; and by them, encouraging words were 

76 Rig- veda Translation [1. 10. 1 

3. Thou hast opened the cloud for the Angirasas,. 
thou hast shown ’the tpay to Atri, who vexes his 
adversaries by a hundred doors; thou hast granted 
wealth, with food, to Vimada : thou art wielding thy 
thunderbolt in defence of a worshipper engaged in 

4. Thou hast opened the receptacle of the waters; 
thou hast detained in the mountain the treasure of 
the malignant; when thou hadst slain Vritra, the 
destroyer, thou madest the sun visible in the sky. 

5. 'f'hou, Indra, by thy devices, hast humbled the 
deceivers who presented oblations to their own 
mouths: propitious to men, thou hast destroyed the 
cities of Pipru, and hast well defended Rijishwan 
in robber-destroying (contests). 

6. Thou hast defended Kutsa in fatal fights with 
Shushna; thou hast destroyed Shambara in defence 
of AtiThigwa; thou hast trodden with thy foot 
upon the great Arbuda: from remote times wast 
thou born for the destruction of oppressors. 

7. In thee, Indra, is all vigour fully concentrated ; 
thy will delights to drink the Soma juice ; it is known 
by us that the thunderbolt is deposited in thy hands : 
cut off all prowess from the foe. 

8. Discriminate between the Aryas and they who 
are Dasyus : restraining those who perform no reli- 
gious rites, compel them to submit to the performer 
of sacrifices : be thou, who art powerful, the encoura- 
ger of the sacrificer: I am desirous of celebrating 
all thy deeds in cerdmonies that give thee satis- 

I. 10. 1] 

First Mandala 


9. Indra abides, humbling the ( neglecters of holy 
acts in favour of those who observe them; and 
punishing those who turn away from his worship in 
favour of those who are present (with their praise); 
Vamra, while praising him, whether old or adolescent, 
and spreading through heaven, carried eff the 
accumulated (materials of the sacrifice). 

10. If Ushanas should sharpen thy vigour by 
his own, then would thy might terrify by its intensity 
both heaven and earth. Friend of man, let the will- 
harnessed steeds, with the velocity of the wind, con- 
vey thee, replete (with vigour), to (partake of the 
sacrificial) food. 

11. When Indra is delighted with acceptable 
hymns, he ascends (his car), drawn by more and more 
obliquely-curveting coursers; fierce, he extracts the 
waters from the passing (cloud) in a torrent, and has 
overwhelmed the extensive cities of Shushna. 

12. Thou mountest thy chariot willingly, Indra, 
for the sake of drinking the libations: such as thou 
delightest in have been prepared (at the sacrifice of) 
Sharyata; be pleased with them, as thou art gratified 
by the effused Soma juices (at the sacrifices) of others, 
so dost thou obtain imperishable fame in heaven. 

13. Thou hast given, Indra, the youthful Vrichaya 

to the aged Kakshivat, praising thee and offering 
libations: thou, Shatakratu, wast Mena, the 

daughter of Vrishanashwa : all these thy deeds are 
to be recited at thy worship. 

14. Indra has been had recourse to, that he may 
assist the pious in their distress. Praise by the 

78 Rig-veda Translation [1. 10. 2 

Pajras, is (as stable) as the pest of a doorway. 
Indra, the giver of riches, who is possessed of horses, 
cattle, chariots, and wealth, is present. 

15. This adoration is offered to the shedder of 
rain, the self-resplendent, the possessor of true 
vigour, the mighty: may w'e be aided, Indra, in 
this conflict, by many heroes, and abide in a pros- 
perous (habitation, bestowed) by thee. 

1 . 10 . 2 

The Riski and divinity are the same ; the metre of the 13th and 
15th verses is Trishtubh , of the rest Jagati. 

1. Worship well that ram who makes heaven 
known, whom a hundred worshippers at once are 
assiduous in praising. I implore Indra with many 
prayers to ascend the car, which hastens like a fleet 
courser to the sacrifice for my protection. 

2. When Indra, who delights in the sacrificial 
food, had slain the stream-obstructing Vritra, and 
was pouring down the waters, he stood firm amid 
the torrents like a mountain, and, endowed with a 
thousand means of protecting (his votaries), in- 
creased in vigour. 

3. He who is victorious over his enemies, who is 
spread through the dewy (firmament), the root of 
happiness, who is exhilarated by the Soma juice, 
him I invoke, the most bountiful Indra, along with 
learned priests, with a mind disposed to pious adora- 
tion, for he is the bet tower of abundant food. 

1 . 10 . 21 

First Mandala 


4. That Indra whom in heaven the libations 
sprinkled on the sacred gfass replenish, as the 
kindred rivers hastening to it fill the ocean: that 
Indra whom the Maruts, the driers up of moisture, 
who are unobstructed, and of undistorted forms, 
attended as auxiliaries at the death of Vritra. 

5. His allies, exhilarated (by libations), preceded 
him, warring against the withholder of the rain, as 
rivers rush down declivities. Indra, animated by 
the sacrificial food, broke through the defences of 
Vala as did Trita through the coverings (of the well). 

6. When, Indra, thou hadst smitten with thy 
thunderbolt the cheek of the wide-extended Vritra, 
who, having obstructed the waters, reposed in the 
region above the firmament, thy fame spread afar, 
thy prowess was renowned. 

7. The hymns, Indra, that glorify thee, attain 
unto thee, as rivulets (flow into) a lake. Twashtri 
has augmented thy appropriate vigour ; he has 
sharpened thy bolt with overpowering might. 

8. Indra, performer of holy acts, desirous of 
going to man, thou with thy steeds hast slain Vritra,. 
(hast set free) the waters, hast taken in thy hands 
thy thunderbolt of iron, and hast made the sun visible 
in the sky. 

9. Through fear (of Vritra, they, the worshippers), 
recited the suitable hymn of the Brihat (Santa), self- 
illuminating, strength-bestowing, and ascending to. 
heaven; on which his allies, (the Maruts), com- 
bating for men, (guardians) of heaven, 'and vivifiers 
of mankind, animated Indra (to destroy him). 


Rig-veda Translation 

[I. 10. 2 

10. Tiie strorg heaven was rent asunder with fear 
at the clamour of that Ahi, when thou, Indra, wast 
inspirited by (drinking) the effused ( Soma juice), 
and thy thunderbolt in its vigour struck off the head 
of Vritra, the obstructor of heaven and earth. 

11. Although, Indra, the earth were of tenfold 
(its extent), and men multiplied every day, yet, 
Maghavan, thy prowess would be equally renowned ; 
the exploits achieved by thy might would be spread 
abroad with the heavens. 

12. Firm-minded Indra, abiding (secure) in thy 
strength beyond the limit of the wide-expanded 
firmament, thou hast framed the earth for our pre- 
servation; thou hast been the type of vigour; thou 
hast encompassed the firmament and the sky as far 
as to the heavens. 

13. Thou art the type of the extended earth; 
thou art the lord of the vast god-frequented ( Swarga ) : 
verily with thy bulk thou fiilest all the firmament; 
of a truth, there is none other such as thou. 

14. Thou, Indra, of whom heaven and earth have 
not attained the amplitude; of whom the waters of 
heaven have not reached the limit; of whom, when 
warring with excited animation against the wifhholder 
of the rains, (his adversaries have not equalled the 
prowess); thou alone hast made everything else, 
(than thyself), dependent (upon thee). 

15. The Maruts worshipped thee in this (en- 
counter); all the gods in this engagement imitated 
thee in exultation, when thou hadst struck the face 
of Vritra with thy angular and fatal (bolt). 

T. 10. 3] First Mandala 81 

I. 10. 3 

The Rishi and divinity are the same ; the metre of the 10th and 
tlth stanzas is Trishtubh ; of the rest, Jagati. * 

1. We ever offer fitting praise to the mighty Indr A, 
in the dwelling of the worshipper, by which he (the 
deity) has quickly acquired riches, as (a thief) hastily 
carries (off the properly) of the sleeping. Praise ill 
expressed is not valued among the munificent. 

2. Thou, Indra, i.rt the giver of horses, of cattle, 
or barley, the master ard protector of wealfh, the 
foremost in liberality, (the being) of many days; 
thou disappointest not desires (addressed to thee); 
thou art a friend to our friends : such an Indra we 

3. Wise and resplendent Indra, the achiever of 
great deeds, the riches that are spread around are 
known to be thine : having collected them, victor 
(over thy enemies), bring them to us : disappoint 
not the expectation of the worshipper who trusts in 

4. Propitiated by these offerings, by these liba- 
tions, dispel poverty with cattle and horses; may we, 
subduing our adversary, and relieved from enemies 
by Indra, (pleased) by our libations, enjoy together 
abundant food. 

5. Indra, may we become possessed of riches, and 
of food; and with, energies agreeable to many, and 
shining around, may we prosper through thy divine 
favour, the source of prowess, of cattle, And of horses. 

6. Those who were thy allies, (the Maruts), 
brought thee joy : protector of the pious, those 

82 Rig- veda Translation [1. 10. 3 

libations and oblations (that were offered thee on 
slaying Vritra), yielded thee delight. When thou, 
unimpeded by foes, didst destroy the ten thousand 
obstacles opposed to him who praised thee and 
offered thee oblations. 

7. Humiliator (of adversaries), thou goest from 
battle to battle, and destroyest by thy might city 
after city: with thy foe-prostrating associate, (the 
thunderbolt), thou, Indra, didst slay afar off the 
deceiver named Namuchi. 

8. Thou hast slain Karanja and Parnaya with 
thy bright gleaming spear, in the cause of Atithigwa : 
unaided, thou didst demolish the hundred cities of 
Vangrida, when besieged by Rijishwan. 

9. Thou, renowned Indra, overthrewest by thy 
not-to-be-overtaken chariot-wheel, the twenty kings 
of men, who had come against Sushravas unaided, 
and their sixty thousand and ninety-nine followers. 

10. Thou, Indra, hast preserved Sushravas by 
thy succour, Turvayana by thy assistance: thou 
hast made Kutsa, Atithigwa, and Ayu subject to 
the mighty though youthful Sushravas. 

11. Protected by the gods. We remain, Indra, 
at the close of the sacrifice, thy most fortunate friends : 
we praise thee, as enjoying through thee excellent 
offspring, and a long and prosperous life. 

r. 10. 4 ] 

First Mandala 


I. 10. 4 * 


The deity and Rishi are the same ; the metre of the 6th ^ 8th, 
9th, and 11th stanzas is Trishtubh : of the other seven, Jagati. 

1. Urge us not, Maghavan, to this iniquity, to 
these iniquitous conflicts, for the limit of thy strength' 
is not to be surpassed; thou hast shou'ed, and hast 
made the waters of the rivers roar ; how (is it possibl )> 
that the earth should not be filled with terror ? 

2. Offer adoration to the wise and powerful 
Shakra; glorifying the listening Indra, praise him 
who purifies both heaven and earth by his irresistible 
might, who is the sender of showers, and by his 
bounty gratifies our desires. 

3. Offer exhilarating praises to the great and 
illustrious Indra, of Whom, undaunted, the steady 
mind is concentrated in its own firmness ; for he, 
who is of great renown, the giver of rain, the repeller 
of enemies. Who is obeyed by his steeds, the showerer 
(of bounties), is hastening hither. 

4. Thou hast shaken the summit of the spacious 
heaven; thou hast slain Shambara by thy resolute 
self; thou hast hurled With exulting and determined 
mind the sharp and bright-rayed thunderbolt against 
assembled Asuras. 

5. Since thou, loud-shouting, hast poured the rain 
upon the brow of the breathing (wild), and (on the 
head) of the maturing and absorbing (sun), who shall 
prevent thee from doing to-day (as thou wilt), en- 
dowed with an unaltered and resbiute mind ? 

6. Thou hast protected Narya, Turvasha, Yadu 
and Turvitt, of the race of Vayya; thou hast pro- 

Rig-veda Translation 


[I. 10. 4 

tected their chariots and horses in the unavoidable 
engagement; thou hast demolished the ninety-nine 
cities (of Shambara). 

7. That eminent person, the cherisher of the 
pious, (the institutor of the ceremony), promotes his 
own prosperity, who, while offering oblations to 
Indra, pronounces his praise ; or who, along with 
the offerings he presents, recites hymns (in honour of 
him); for him the bounteous Indra causes the clouds 
to rain from heaven. 

8. Unequalled is his might; unequalled is his 
wisdom; may these drinkers of the Soma juice 
become equal to him by the pious act, for they, 
Indra, who present to thee oblations, augment thy 
vast strength and thy manly vigour. 

9. These copious Soma juices, expressed with 
stones and contained in ladles, are prepared for 
thee ; they are the beverage of Indra : quaff them ; 
satiate thine appetite with them; and then fix thy 
mind on the wealth that is to be given (to us). 

10. The darkness obstructed the current of the 
waters; the cloud was within the belly of Vritra; 
but Indra precipitated all the waters which the 
obstructor had concealed, in succession, down to 
the hollows (of the earth). 

11. Bestow upon us, Indra, increasing reputa- 
tion; (bestow upon us) great, augmenting, and foe- 
subduing strength; preserve us in affluence; cherish 
those who are wise; and supply us with wealth from 
Which proceed excellent progeny and food. 

1. 10. 5] First Mandala 85 

I. 10. 5 

Deity and Rtshi as before ; the metre, Jagati. 

1. The amplitude of Indra was vaster than the 
(space of) heaven : earth was not comparable to 
him in bulk ; formidable and most mighty, he has 
been ever the affiicter (of the enemies o!) those men 
(who worship him); he whets his thunderbolt for 
sharpness, as a bull (his horns). 

2. The firmament-abiding Indra grasps the wide- 
spread waters with his comprehensive faculties, as 
the ocean (receives the rivers) : he rushes (impetuous) 
as a bull, to drink of the Soma juice ; he, the warrioT, 
ever covets praise for his prowess. 

3. Thou, Indra, hast not (struck) the cloud for 
(thine own) enjoyment; thou rulest over those who 
are possessed of great wealth : that divinity is known 
by us to surpass all others in strength ; the haughty 
(Indra) takes precedence of all gods, on account of 
his exploits. 

4. He verily is glorified by adoring (sages) in the 
forest; he proclaims his beautiful vigour amongst 
men; he is the granter of their wishes (to those 
who solicit him); he is the encourager of those 
who desire to worship (him), when the wealthy offerer 
of oblations, enjoying his protection, recites his 

5. Indra, the warrior, engages in. many great 
conflicts for (the good of) man, with overwhelming 
prowess; when he hurls his fatal shaft, every one 
immediately has faith in the resplendent Indra. 

$6 Rig- veda Translation (1. 10. 6 


6. Ambitious of renown, destroying the well- 
built dwellings of the Asuras, expanding like the 
earth, and setting the (heavenly) luminaries free from 
•concealment, he, the performer of good deeds, 
enables the waters to flow for the benefit of his 

7. Drinker of the Soma juice, may thy mind 
incline to grant our desires; hearer of praises, let 
thy coursers be present (at cur sacrifice) ; thy chario- 
teers are skilful in restraining (thy steeds); nor, 
Indra, can crafty (enemies) bearing arms prevail 
against thee. 

8. Thou boldest in thy hands unexhausted wealth ; 
thou, renowned (Indra), hast irresistible strength in 
thy body; thy limbs are invested with (glorious) 
exploits, as wells (are surrounded by those who come 
for water); in thy members, Indra, are many 

I. 10. 6 

Deity, Rishi % and metre, as in the preceding. 

1. Voracious (Indra) has risen up (as ardently) 
-as a horse (approaches) a mare, to partake of the 
copious libations (contained) in the (sacrificial) 
ladles; having stayed his well-horsed, golden, and 
splendid chariot, he plies himself, capable of heroic 
■(actions, with, the beverage). 

2. His adorers, bearing oblations, are thronging 
round (him), as (merchants) covetous of gain crowd 
the ocean (in vessels) on a voyage: ascend quickly. 

I. 10. 6] First Mandala 87 


with a hymn to the powerfyl Indra, the protector 
of the solemn sacrifice, as women (climb) a mountain. 

3. He is quick in action, and mighty; his faultless 
and destructive prowess shines in manly (conflict) 
like the peak of a mountain (afar), with which, clothed 
in iron (armour), he, the suppressor of the malignant, 
when exhilarated (by the Soma juice), cast the wily 
Shushna into prison and into bonds. 

4. Divine strength waits, like the sun upon the 
dawn, upon that Indra who is made more powerful 
for protection by thee, (his worshipper), who with 
resolute vigour resists, the gloom, and inflicts severe 
castigation upon his enemies, making them cry aloud 
(with pain). 

5. When thou, destroying Indra, didst distribute 
the (previously) hidden life-sustaining, undecaying 
waters through the different quarters of the heaven, 
then, animated (by the Soma juice), thou didst engage 
in battle, and with exulting (prowess) sleWest Vritra, 
and didst send down an ocean of waters. 

6. Thou, mighty Indra, serdest down from 

heaven, by thy power, upon the realms of earth, 
the (world)-sustaining rain : exhilarated (by the 

Soma juice), thou hast expelled the waters (from the 
clouds), and hast crushed Vritra by a solid rock. 


Rig-veda Translation 

[I. 10. 7 

' I. 10. 7 


, Deity, Right, and metre unchanged. 

1. I offer especial praise to the most bountiful, 
the excellent, the opulent, the verily powerful and 
stately Indra, whose irresistible impetuosity is like 
(the rush) of waters down a precipice, and by whom 
widely-diffused wealth is laid open (to his worshippers) 
to sustain (their) strength. 

2. All the world, Indra, was irtent upon thy 
Worship; the oblations of the sacrficer (flowed) like 
water (falling) to a depth; for the fatal golden 
thunderbolt of Indra, when hurling it (against the 
foe), did not sleep upon the mountain. 

3. Beautiful Ushas, now present the oblation in 
this rite to the formidable, praise-deserving Indra, 
whose all-sustaining, celebrated, and characteristic 
radiance has impelled him hither and thither, (in 
quest) of (sacrficial) food, as (a charioteer drives) 
his horses (in various directions). 

4. Much-lauded and most opulent Indra, we are 
they, who, relying (on thy favour), approach thee; 
accepter of praise, no other than thou receives our 
commendations ; do thou be pleased (with our 
address), as the earth (cherishes) her creatures. 

5. Great is thy prowess, Indra: we are thine: 
satisfy, Maghavan, the desires of this thy worshipper ; 
the vast heaven has acknowledged thy might ; this 
earth has been bowed down through thy vigour. 

6. Thou, thunderer, hast shattered with thy bolt 
the broad and massive cloud into fragments, and 
hast sent down the Waters that were confined in it, 

1. 11, 1] First Mandala 89 

to flow (at will): verily thpu alone possessest all 

I. 11. 1 

The deity is Agni ; the Rishi, Nodhas, the son of Gotama ; 
the metre of the first five verses is Jagati, of the last four Trishtubh. 

1. Tne strength -gen era ted, immortal Agni quickly 
issues forth, when he is the invoker of the gods, and 
the messenger (of the worshipper): (then proceeding) 
by suitable paths, he has made the firmament, 
and worships (the deities) in the sacrifice with 

2. Undecaying Agni, combining his food (with his 
flame), and devouring it quickly, ascends the dry 
wood; the blaze of the consuming (element) spreads 
like a (fleet) courser, and roars like a roaring (cloud) 
in the height of heaven. 

3. The immortal and resplendent Agni, the bearer 
of oblations, honoured by the Rudras and the Vasus, 
the invoker of the gods, who presides over oblstions, 
and is the distributor of, praised by his wor- 
shippers, and admired like a chariot amongst man- 
kind, accepts the oblations that are successively 

4. Excited by the wind, and roaring loudly, Agni 
penetrates easily with his flames and diffusive 
(intensity) among the timber: when, undecaying and 
fiercely-blazing Agni, thou rushest rapidly like a 
bull amongst the forest trees, thy path is blackened. 

90 Rig- veda Translation (1. 11. 1 

5. The flame-iveaponed and breeze-excited Agni, 
assailing the unexhaled moisture (of the trees), with 
all his strength, in a volume of fire, rushes triumphant 
(against all things) in the forest, like a bull, and all, 
Whether stationary or moveable, are afraid of him 
as he flies along. 

6. The Bhrigus amongst men, for the sake of a 
divine birth, cherished thee like a precious treasure 
Agni, who sacrificest for men, who art the invoker 
(of the gods), the (welcome) guest at sacrifices, and 
who art to be Valued like an affectionate friend. 

7. I worship with oblations that Agni whom the 
seven invoking priests invite as the invoker of the 
gods; Who is most worthy of worship at sacrifices, 
and who is the donor of all riches : I solicit of him 

8. Son of strength, favourably-shining Agni, grant 
to thy worshippers on this occasion uninterrupted 
felicity: offspring of food, preserve him who praises 
thee from sin with guards of iron. 

9. Variously-shining Agni, be a shelt.-r to him who 
praises thee; be prosperity, Maghavan, to the 
wealthy (offerers of oblations); protect, Agni, thy 
worshipper from sin: may Agni, who is rich with 
righteous acts, come (to us) quickly in the morning. 

I. 11. 2] First Mandala 91 

I. 11. 2 /•/. 5*7 * . 

The Rishi is Nodhas, the deity, in the form of 
Vakhwanara ; the metre is Trishtubh. 

1. Whatever other fires there may be, they are but 
ramifications, Agni, of thee; but they all rejoice, 
being immortal in thee: thou, Vaishwanara, art the 
navel of men, and supportest them like a deep- 
planted column. 

2. Agni, the head of heaven, the navel <^f earth, 
became the ruler over both earth and heaven : all 
the gods engendered thee. Vaishwanara, in the form 
of light, for the venerable sage. 

3. Treasures were deposited in the Agni, Vaishwa- 
nara, like the permanent rays (of light) in the sun : 
thou art the sovereign of all the treasures that exist 
in the mountains, in the herbs, in the waters, or 
amongst men. 

4. Heaven and earth expanded as it were for their 
son. The experienced sacrificer recites, like a bard, 
many ancient and copious praises addressed to the 
graceful-moving, truly-vigorous, and all-guiding 

5. Vaishwanara, who knowest all that are born, 
thy magnitude has exceeded that of the spacious 
heaven: thou art the monarch of Manu-descended 
men; thou ha^t regained for the gods in battle, the 
wealth (carried off by the As urns). 

6. I extol the greatness of that sbowerer of rain 
whom men celebrate as the slayer of Vritra: the 
Agni, Vaishwanara, slew the stealer (of the waters), 

92 Rig- veda Translation [1. 11. 3 

and sent them dWn (upon earth), and clove the 
(obstructing) cloud. 

1. Vaishwanara by his magnitude is all men, 
and is to be worshipped as the diffuser of manifold 
light in offerings of nutritious viands: Agni, the 
speaker of truth, praises with many commendations 
Purunitha, the son of Shatavani. 

I. 11. 3 / I'k * 

The Rishi is the same ; the deity is Agni ; the metre, TrishtubJu 

1. Matarishwan brought, as a friend, to Bhrigu, 
the celebrated Vahni, the illuminator of sacrifices, 
the careful protector (of his votaries), the swift-moving 
messenger (of the gods), the offspring of two parents, 
(to be to him), as it were, a precious treasure. 

2. Both (gods and men) are the worshippers of this 
ruler; those who are to be desired (the gods), and 
those who are mortal, bearing oblations; for this 
venerable invoker (of the gods), the lord of men, and 
distributor (of desired benefits), was placed by the 
officiating priests (upon the altar), before the sun was 
in the sky. 

3. May our newest celebration come before that 
Agni, Who is sweet-tongued, and is to be engendered 
in the heart; whom men, the descendants of Manu, 
sacrificing and presenting oblations to him, beget 
in the time of battle. 

4. Agni, the desirable, the purifying, the giver of 
dwellings, the excellent, the invoker (of the gods), 
has been placed (upon the altar) among men: may 

First Mandala 


1. 11.4] 

he be inimical (to our foes), t the protector of (our) 
dwellings, and the guardian of the treasures in (this) 

5. We, born of the race of Gotama, praise thee, 
Agni, with acceptable (hymns'), as the lord of riches: 
rubbing thee, the bearer of oblations, (as a rider 
rubs down), a horse: may he who has acquired 
wealth by sacred rites, come hither quickly in the 

I. 11. 4 l/b} 

The deity is Indra ; the Rishi and metre are the same as in 
the preceding. 

1. 1 offer adoration to that powerful, rapid, 
mighty, praise-meriting, and unobstructed Indra; 
adoration that is acceptable, and oblations that are 
grateful, ajs food (to a hungry man). 

2. I offer (oblations, acceptable : s) food (to the 
hungry), to that Indra : I raise (to him) exclamations 
that may be of efficacy in discomfiting (my foes): 
others (also) worship Indra, the ancient lord, in 
heart, in mind, and in understanding. 

3. I offer with my mouth a loud exclamation, with 
powerful and pure words of praise, to exalt him who 
is the type (of all), the giver (of good things), the 
great, the wise. 

4. I prepare praises for him, as a carpenter con- 
structs a car, (that the driver) may thence (obtain) 
food ; praises well deserved, to him who is entitled to 
commendation, and excellent oblations to the wise 


94 Rig- veda Translation [T. 11. 4 

5. To propitiate that Indra for the sake of food, 
I combine praise with utterance, as (a man harnesses) 
a horse (to a car), in. order to celebrate the heroic, 
munificent, and food-conferring Indra, the destroyer 
of the cities (of the Asuras). 

6. For that Indra, verily Twashtri sharpened the 
well-acting, sure-aimed thunderbolt for the batlle, 
with which fatal (weapon) the foe-subduing and 
mighty sovereign severed the limbs of Vritra. 

7. Quickly quaffing the libations, and devouring 
the grateful viands (presented) at the three (daily) 
sacrifices which are dedicated to the creator (of the 
world), he, the pervader of the universe, stole the 
ripe (treasures of the Asuras) : the vanquisher (of 
his foes), the hurler of the thunderbolt, encountering, 
pierced the cloud. 

8. To that Indra the women, the wives of the gods, 
addressed their hymns, on the destruction of Ahi; 
he encompasses the extensive heaven and earth; 
they two do not surpass thy vastness. 

9. His magnitude verily exceeds that of the heaven, 
and earth, and sky; Indra, self-irradiating in his 
dwelling, equal to every exploit, engaged' with no 
unworthy foe, and skilled in conflict, calls to battle. 

10. Indra, by his vigour, cut to pieces with his 
thunderbolt Vritra, the absorber (of moisture), and 
set free the preserving waters, like cows (recovered 
from thieves); and, consentient (to the wishes) of 
the giver of the oblation, (grants him) food. 

11. Through his power the rivers sport, since he 
has opened (a way for them) by his thunderbolt; 

First Man^ala 


1 . 11 . 4 ] 

establishing his supremacy and granting a (recom- 
pense) to the giver (of the oblation), he, the swift- 
moving, provided a resting-place for Turviti. 

12. Indra, who art the quick-moving and strength- 
endowed lord (of all), hurl thy thunderbolt against 
this Vritra and sever his joints, as (butchers cut up) 
a cow, that the rains may issue from him, and the 
waters flow (over the earth). 

13 . Proclaim, with new hymns, the former ex- 
ploits of that quick-moving Indra, when wielding 
his Weapons in battle, he encounters and destroys 
his enemies. 

14 . Through fear of him, the stable mount,, ins 
(are still), and through dread of his appearance, 
heaven and earth tremble: may, Nodhas, praising 
repeatedly the preserving power of that beloved 
Indra, be speedily (blessed) with vigour. 

15 . To him has that praise been offered which he, 
sole (victor over his foes), and lord of manifold 
wealth, prefers (to receive) from those (who praise 
him). Indra has defended the pious sacrificer 
Etasha, when contending with Surya, the son of 

16 . Indra, harnesser of steeds, the descendants 
of Gotama have offered to thee prayers of efficacy 
to secure thy presence: bestow upon them every 
sort of affluence; may he who has acquired wealth 
by pious acts, come hither quickly in the morning. 

96 Rig-veda Translation [1.11.5 

I. li. 5 »/£2~ 

‘ The jR/jAi Is Nodhas, and deity Indra, as in the last ; the 
metre, Trishtubh . 

1. We meditate, like Angiras, an acceptable 
address to that powerful and praise-deserving Indra, 
who L; to be adored by his worshippers (with prayer?) 
of efficacy, to bring him to the ceremony : let us repeat 
a prayer to the celebrated leader of all. 

2. «Do you, priests, offer to the vast and most 
powerful Indra, earnest veneration, a chant fit to 
be sung aloud; for through him our forefathers, 
the Angirasas, worshipping him, and knowing the 
footmarks, recovered (the stolen ) cattle. 

3. When the search was set on foot by Indra 
and the Angirasas, Sarama secured food for her 
young; then Brihaspati slew the devourer and 
rescued the kine, and the gods, with the cattle, pro- 
claimed their joy aloud. 

4. Powerful Indra, who art to be gratified with 
a laudatory a d wcll-accentcd hymn by the seven 
priests, whether engaged for nine months, or for 
ten; and, desirous of (safe) protection, thou hast 
terrified by thy voice the divisible fructifying 

5. Destroyer of foes, praised by the Angirasas, 
thou hast scattered the darkness with the dawn, and 
with the rays of the spn : tljou hast made straight 
the elevatione of. the earth; thou hast strengthened 
the foundations of the ethereal region. 

6. The deeds of that graceful Indra are most 
admirable; his exploits are most glorious, in that 

I. 11. 5] First Mandala 97 

he has replenished the four riverS of sweet water, 
spread over the surface of the earth. 

7. He who is not to be attained by violence. But 
(is easily propitiated) by those who praise him with 
sacred hymns, parted twofold the eternal and united 
(spheres of heaven and earth); the graceful Indr a 
cherished the heaven and earth, like the sun in the 
august and most excellent sky. 

8. (Night and dawn\ of various complexion, 
repeatedly born, but ever youthful, have traversed in 
their revolutions alternately, from a remote period, 
ea r th and heaven ; night with her dark, dawn with 
her luminous, limbs. 

9. The son of strength, assiduous in good works, 
diligent in pious acts, retains his ancient friendship 
(for his votary). Thou, (Indra), providest within 
the yet immature cows, whether black or red, the 
mature and glossy milk. 

10. From a remote time the contiguous, unshifting, 
and unwearied fingers practise with (all) their energies 
many thousand acts of devotion (towards Indra); 
and like the wives (of the gods), the protecting sisters 
worship him who is without shame. 

11. ' Beautiful Indra, who art to be praised with 
holy hymns, the pious who are desirous of holy 
rites, those who are anxious for riches, and those who 
are wise, repair to thee with veneration : powerful 
Indra, their minds adhere to thee, as affectionate 
wives to a loving husband. 

12. Beautiful Indra, the riches that have long 
since been held in thy hands have suffered neither 


Rig-veda Translation 

[I. 11.6 

loss nor diminution. Thou, Indra, art illustrious, 
addicted to good wofks, and resolute: enrich us, 
thou who art diligent in action, by thy acts. 

13. Mighty Indra, Nodhas, the son of Gotama, 
has composed for us this new hymn, (addressed) 
to thee, who hast been for ever, who harnessest thy 
coursers (to thy car), and art the sure guide (of all). 
May he who has acquired wealth by pious acts, 
come hither quickly in the morning. 

I. 11. 6 

Rishiy deity, and metre as before. 

1 . Indra, thou art the mighty one, who, becoming 
manifest in (the hour of) alarm, didst sustain by 
thy energies heaven and earth; then, through fear 
of thee, all creatures, and the mountains, and. all 
other vast and solid things, trembled, like the (tremu- 
lous) rays of the sun. 

2. When, Indra, thou harnessest thy variously- 
moving horses, thy praiser places thy thunderbolt in 
thy hands, wherewith, accomplisher of undesired 
acts, thou assailest thine enemies, and, glorified by 
many, destroyest their numerous cities. 

3. Thou, Indra, the best of all beings, the assailer 
and humiliator (of thy foes), the chief of the Ribhus, 
the friend of man, the subduer of enemies, didst aid 
the young and illustrious Kutsa, and slewest 
Shushna, in the* deadly and close-fought fight. 

4. Thou verily didst animate him to (acquire) such 
(renown) as that which, sender of rain and wielder 

First Mandala 


1 11 . 6 ] 

of the thunderbolt, thou (didst acquire) when thou 
slowest Vritra, and when, munificent hero, who 
easily conquerest (thy foes), thou didst put to flight 
the Dasyus in battle. 

5. Do thou, Tndra, who art unwilling to harm 

any resolute (mortal), set open all the quarters (of 
the horizon) to the horses of us who praise thee, 
(when we are exposed) to the aversion (of our enemies) ; 
and, wielder of the thunderbolt, demolish our foes, as 
with a club. * 

6. Men invoke thee, such as thou art, in the 
thick-thronged and wealth-bestowing conflict. May 
this thy succour, powerful Indr A, ever be granted in 
war, worthy to be enjoyed (by Warriors) in battle. 

7. Indra, wielder of the thunderbolt, warring on 
beha'f of Purukutsa, thou didst overturn the seven 
cities; thou didst cut off for Sudas the wealth of 
Anhas, as if (it had been a tuft) of sacred grass, and 
didst give it to him, O king, ever satiating thee (with 

8. Increase, divine Indra, for us throughout the 
earth, abundant food, (that it may be as plentiful) as 
water, by which, hero, thou bestowest upon us 
(existence), as thou causest water to flow on every side. 

9. Prcises have been offered to thee, Indra, by 
the sons of Gotama: (they have been) uttered with 
reverence (to thee;, borne (hither) by thy steeds: 
grant us various sorts of food. May he who has 
acquired wealth by pious acts, come hither quickly 
in the morning. 

100 Rig- veda Translation [1.11.7 

I. 11. 7 

The Rishi is the same ; the deities are the Maruts collectively ; 
the metre is Jagati, except in the last verse, in which it is 
Trishtubh . 

1. Offer, Nodhas, earnest praise to the company 
cf the Maruts, the senders of rain and riper ers of 
fruit, deserving of adoration. Composed, and with 
folded hands, I utter the praises conceived in my 
mind, which are efficacious in sacred ritea, (and 
flow readily) as the waters. 

2. They were born handsome and vigorous from 
the sky, the sons of Rudra, the conquerers of their 
foes, pure from sin, and purifying (all), radiant as 
suns, powerful as evil spirits, diffusers of rain-drops, 
ard of fearful forms. 

3. Youthful Rudras, ard un decaying, destructive 
of those who do not worship (the gods), of unob- 
structed progress, and immoveable as mountains, 
they are desirous of granting (the wishes of the 
worshipper), and by their strength agitate all sub- 
stances, whether of heaven or of earth. 

4. They decorate their persons with various 
ornaments; they have placed, for elegance, brilliant 
(garlands) on their breasts ; lances are borne upon 
their shoulders, and with them and their own strength 
have they been born, leaders, from the sky. 

5. Enriching their worshipper, agitating the clouds, 
devourers of foes, they create the winds and lightnings 
by their power? the circumambient and agitating 
Maruts milk heavenly udders, and sprinkle the earth 
with the water. 

First Mandala 



6. The munificent Maruts scatter the nutritious 
waters, as priests at sacrifices, the’ clarified butter: 
as grooms lead forth a horse, they bring forth for 
i s rain the fleet-moving cloud, and milk it, thundering, 
and unexhausted. 

7. Vast, possessed of knowledge, bright-shining, 
like mountains in stability, and quick in notion, 
you, like elephants, break down the forests when you 
p it vigour into your ruddy (mares). 

8. The mo. t wise Maruts roar like lions ; the 
all-knowing are graceful as the spotted deer, destroy- 
ing (their foes), delighting (their worshippers); of 
deadly strength in their anger, they come with their 
antelopes and their arms, (to defend the sacrificer) 
against interruption. 

9. Maruts, who are distinguished in troop.,, who 
are benevolent to men, who are heroes, and whose 
Strength is deadly in your anger, you make heaven 
and earth resound (at your coming); your (glory) 
sits in the seat -furnished chariots, conspicuous as 
(a beautiful) form, or as the lovely lightning. 

10. Tne Maruts, who are all-knowing, co-dwelbrs 
with wealth, combined with strength, loud-sounding, 
repellers of foes, of infinite prowess, whose weapon 
(of offence) is Indra, and who are leaders (of men), 
hold in their hands the shaft. 

11. Augmented of rail, they drive whb golden 
wheels the clouds asunder, as elephants (in a herd 
b -eak down the trees in their way) : they are honoured 
with sacrifices, visitants of the hall df offering, spon- 
taneous assailers (of their foes), subverters of what 

102 Rig- Veda Translation [1.11.7 

are stable, immoveable themselves, and Wearers of 
shining weapons. 

12. We invoke with praise the foe-destroying, 
all-purifying. Water-shedding, all-surveying band of 
Maruts, the offspring of Rudra : (priests) to obtain 
prosperity, have recourse to the dust-raising and 
powerful band of Maruts, receiving libations from 
sacred vessels, and showering down (benefits). 

13. The man whom, Maruts, you defend with 

your protection, quickly surpasses all men in strength ; 
with his horses he acquires food, and with his men, 
riches : he performs the required worship, and he 


14. Maruts, grant to your wealthy (worshippers a 
son), eminent for good works, invincible in battle, 
illustrious, the annihilator (of his adversaries), the 
seizer of Wealth, the deserver of praise, and all- 
discerning; may we cherish such a son and such a 
grandson for a hundred winters. 

15. Grant us, Maruts, durable riches, attended by 
posterity, and mortifying to our enemies: (riches) 
reckoned by hundreds and thousands, and ever 
increasing; may they who have acquired wealth by 
pious acts, come hither quickly in the morning. 

1. 12. 1] First Mandala 103 

T. 12. 1* 

The deity is Agni ; the Rishi, Parashara, son of Shakti, 
the son of Vasishtha ; the metre is termed Dwipada-Virat. 

1. The firm end placid divinities followed thee, 
Agni, by thy footmarks, when hiding in the hollow 
(of the waters), like a thief (who has stolen) an 
animal; thee, claiming oblations, and bearing them 
io the gods : all the deities who are entitled to worship, 
sit down near to thee. 

2. The gods followed the traces of the fugitive; 
the search spread everywhere, and etuth became like 
heaven; the waters swelled (to conceal him), who 
was much enlarged by praise, a' d was manifested as 
it were in the womb in the waters, the source of 
sacrificial food. 

3. Agni is grateful as nourishment, vast as the 
earth, productive (of vegetable food), as a mountain, 
delightful as water; he is like a horse uiged to a 
charge in battle and like flowing Waters ; who can 
arrest him ? 

4. He is the kind kinsman of the waters, like a 
brother to his sisters; he consumes the forest as a 
Raja (destroys) his enemies ; when excited by the wind, 
he traverses the woods, ard shears the hairs of the 

5. He breathes amidst the Waters like a sitting 
swan; awakened at the dawn, he restores by his 

J& 9 ' 

operations consciousness to men ; he is a creator, 
like Soma ; born from the waters, (where he lurked) 

104 Rig-veda Translation [I. 12. 2 

like an animal , with coiled-up limb'., he became 
enlarged, ard his Ught.(spread) afar. 

T. 12. 2 

Deity, Rishi, and metre the same. 

1. Agni, who is like wond r ous wealth, like the 
all-surveying Sun, like vital breath, like a well- 
conducted son, like a rider-bearing steed, like a 
milkr, yielding cow, who is pure ard radiant, consumes 
the forests. 

2. Like a secure mansion, he protects property; 
he (nourishes people) like barley; he is the con- 
queror of (hostile) men : he is like a Rishi, the 
praiser (of the gods), eminent amongst (devout) 
persons : as a spirited horse (goes to battle), he 
repairs delighted to the hall of sacrifice: may he 
bestow upon us food. 

3. Agni, of unattainable brightness, is like u 
vigilant sacrificer; he is an ornament to all (in the 
sacrificial chamber), like a woman in a dwelling; 
when he shines with wonderful lustre, he is like the 
white (sun), or like a golden chariot amongst men, 
resplendent in battle. 

4. He terrifies (his adversaries) like an army sent 
(against an enemy), or like the bright-pointed shaft 
of an archer. Agni, as Yama, is all that is born ; 
as Yama, all that will be born : he is the lover of 
maidens, the husband of wives. 

5. L't us approach that blazing Agni with animal 
and vegetable offerings, as cows hasten to their stalls- 

First Mandala 


I. 12. 3] 

He has tossed about his flames (in. every direction), 
like running streams of watei*; the rays commingle 
(with the radiance) visible in the sky. 

T. 12. 3 

The same deity, Rishi, and metre continued. 

1. Born in the woods, the friend of man, Agni pro- 
tects his worshipper, as a Raja favours an able man ; 
kind as a defende.*, prosperous as a performtr of 
(good) works, may he, the invoker of the gods, the 
bearer of oblations, be propitious. 

2. Holding in his hand all (sacrificial) Wealth, and 
hiding in the hollows (of the waters), he filled the 
gods with alarm; the leaders, (the gods), the up- 
holders of acts, then recognize Agni when they have 
recited the prayers conceived in the heart. 

3. Like the unborn (sun) he sustains the earth 
and the firmament, and props up the heaven with 
true prayer..; Agni, in whom is all sustenance, 
cherish the places that are grateful to animals ; repair 
(to the spots) where there is no pasturage. 

4. He who knows Agni hidden in the hollows; 
he who approaches him as the maintainer of truth ; 
those who, performing worship, repeat his praises, 
to them assuredly he promises affluence. 

5. The wise, (first) honouring Agni, as they do 
a dwelling, worship him who implants their (peculiar) 
virtues in herbs, as progeny in their parents, and who, 
the source of knowledge and of all sustenance, (abides) 
h 1 the domicile of the waters. 

106 Rig-veda Translation [I. 12. 4 

I. 12. 4 

The Rishty etc., unchanged. 

1. The bearer (of the oblations), (Agni), mixing 
them (with other ingredients), ascends to heaven, 
and clothes all things, move able and immoveable, 
and the nights themselves, (with light), radiant 
amongst the gods, and in himself alone comprehending 
the virtues of all these (substances). 

2. When, divine Agni, thou art born living from 
the dfy wood, (by attrition), then all (thy worshippers) 
perform the sacred ceremony, and obtain verily true 
divinity by praising thee, who art immojtal, v/ith 
hymns th«t reach thee. 

3. Praises aie addressed to him who has repaired 
(to the solemnity); oblations (are offered) to him 
Who has gone (to the sacrifice); in him is all suste- 
nance, (and to him) have all (devout persons) per- 
formed (the customary) rites. Do thou, Agni, 
knowing (the thoughts of the worshipper), grant 
riches to him who presents to thee oblations, or who 
wishes (to be able to present them). 

4. Thou hast abided with the descendants of 
Manu as the invoker (of the gods); thou art indeed 
the lord of their possessions; they have desired 
(of thee) procreative vigour in their bodies, and, 
associated with their own excellent offspring, they 
contemplate (all things) undisturbed. 

5. Hastening to obey the commands of Agnl 
like sons (Obedient to the orders) of a father, they 
celebrate his worship; abounding in food, Agni 
sets open before them treasures that are the doors of 

First Mandala 


1 . 12 . 5 ] 

sacrifice; and he who delights ,m the sacrificial 
chamber has studded the sky with constellations. 

1. 12. 5 

The same as the preceding. 

1. White-shining (Agni), like the (sun), the 
extinguisher of the dawn, is the illuminator (of all), 
and fills united (heaven and earth with light), like the 
lustre of the radiant (sun). Thou, as soon as mani- 
fested, hast pervaded all the world with devout acts, 
being (both) the father and son of the geds. 

2. The wise, the humble, and discriminating Agni, 
is the give of flavour to food, as the udder of cows 
{.gives sweetness to the milk) ; invited (to the ceremony), 
he sits in the sacrificial chamber, diffusing happiness 
like a benevolent man, amongst mankind. 

3. He diffuses happiness in a dwelling like a son 
(newly) born; he overcomes (opposing) men like 
an animated charger; whatever (divine) beings I 
may along with other men invoke (to the ceremony), 
thou, Agni, assumes! all (their) celestial natures. 

4 Never may (malignant spirits) interrupt those 
rites in which thou hast given the (hope of) reward 
to the persons (who celebrate them), for should 
(such spirits) disturb thy worship, then, assisted by 
followers like thyself, thou puttest the intruders to 

5. May Agni, who is possessed of manifold light, 
like the extinguisher of the dawn, the granter of 
dwellings, and of cognizable form, consider (the desires 


Rig-veda Translation 

[I 12. 6- 

of) this, (his worshipper); (his rays), spontaneously 
bearing the oblation, oppn the doors (of the sacrificial 
chamber), and ail spread through the visible heaven. 

r. 12. 6 

Rishi , etc., as before. 

1. We solicit abundant (food). Agni, who is 
to be approached by meditation, and shines with pure 
light, pervades all holy rites, knowing well the acts 
that are addressed to the deities, and (those which 
regulate) the birth of the human race. 

2. (They offer oblations) on the mountain, or 
in the mansion, to that Agni, who is withm the waters, 
within woods, and within all moveable and immoveable 
things, immortal, and performing pious acts, like a 
benevolent (prince) among his people. 

3. Agni, the lord of night, grants riches to the 
worshipper who adores him with sacred hymns. 
Agni, who art omniscient, and knowest the origin of 
gods and men, protect all these (bei igs dwelling) 
upon earth. 

4. Agni, whom many variously-tiitcd (mornings) 
and nights increase, whom, invested with truth, all 
moveable and immoveable things augment, has been 
propitiated, and is kindly seated at the holy rite, as 
the invoker (of the gods), and rendering all (pious) 
acts (productive) of reward. 

5. Agni, confer excellence upon our valued cattle, 
and may all men bring us acceptable tribute ; offering 
in many places sacrifices to thee, men receive riches 
from thee, as (sons) from an aged father. 

First Mandala 


1 . 12 . 7 ] _ _ . 

6. (May Agni), who is like on<? who succeeds (in 
his undertakings), and acquires (what he wishes for), 
who is like a warrior casting a dart, and resembles a 
fearful adversary, who is brilliant in combats, (be 
to us a friend). 

I. 12. 7 

The deity and Rishi are the same, but the metre is Trishtubh . 

1. The contiguous fingers, loving the affectionate 
Agni, as wives love their own husbands, please him 
(with offered oblations), and honour him, who is 
entitled to honour, (with gesticulations), as the rays 
of light (are assiduous in the service) of the dawn, 
which is (at first) dark, (then) glimmering, and 
(finally) radiant. 

2. Our forefathers, the Angirasas, by their praises 
(of Agni), terrified the strong and daring devourer, 
(Pani), by the sound ; they made for us a path to 
the vast heaven, and obtained accessible day, the 
ensign of day, (Aditya), and the cows (that had been 

3. They secured him, (Agni, in the sacrificial 
chamber), they made his worship the source of wealth ; 
whence opulent votaries preserve his fires and practise 
his rites. Free from all (other) desire, assiduous in 
his adoration, and sustaining gods and men by their 
offerings, they come into his presence. 

4. When the diffusive vital air, excites Agni, he 
becomes bright and manifest in every mansion, and 
the institutor of the rite, imitating Bhrigu, prevails 


Rig-veda Translation 

[1. 12. 7 

on him to perform the function of messenger, as a 
prince who has become a friend sends an ambassador 
to. his more powerful (conqueror). 

5. When (the worshipper) offers an oblation to 
his great and illustrious protector, the grasping 

, ( Rakshas ), recognizing thee, Agni, retires : but Agni, 
the archer, sends after him a blazing arrow from his 
dreadful bow, and the god bestows light upon his 
own daughter, (the dawn). 

6. When (the worshipper) kindles thee in his own 
dwelling, and presents an oblation to thee, daily 
desiring it, do thou, Agni, augmented in two ways, 
(as middling and as best), increase his means of 
sustenance : may he whom thou sendest with his car 
to battle, return with wealth. 

7. All (sacrificial) viands concentrate in Agni, as 
the seven great rivers flow into the ocean : our food 
is not partaken of by our kinsmen, therefore do thou, 
who knowest (all things), make our desires ktiow'n 
to the gods. 

8. May that (digestive) faculty (of Agni) which 
regards food, be imparted to the devout and illustrious 
protector of priests, as the source of virile vigour; 
and may Agni be born as (his) robust, irreproachable, 
youthful and intelligent son, and instigate him (to 
acts of worship). 

9. The Sun, who traverses alone the path of 
heaven with the speed of thought, is at once lord of 
all treasures: the two kings, Mitra and Varuna, 
with bounteous hands, are the guardians of the 
precious ambrosia of our cattle. 

I. 12. 8] 

First Mandala 


10. Dissolve not, Agni, our ancestral friendship, 
for thou art cognizant of the past as well as of the 
present; in like manner as light (speeds over) the, sky, 
so decay impairs (my body) : think of me before that 
source of destruction (prevails). 

I. 12. 8 

Rishi, etc., as before. 

1. Agni, holding in his hands many good things 
for men, appropriates the prayers addressed to the 
eternal creator. Agni is the lord of riches, quickly 
bestowing (on those Who praise him) ail golden 

2. All the immortals, and the unbewildered 
( Maruts ), wishing for him who was (dear) to us as a 
son, and was everywhere around, discovered him 
not; oppressed with fatigue, wandering on foot, 
and cognizant of his acts, they stopped at the last 
beautiful (hiding)-place of Agni. 

3. Inasmuch, Agni, as the pure ( Maruts ) wor- 
shipped thee, (equally) pure, with clarified butter for 
three years, therefore they acquired names worthy 
(to be repeated) at sacrifices, and, being regenerated 
obtained celestial bodies. 

4. Those who are to be worshipped, (the gods), 
inquiring between the expansive heaven and earth 
(for Agni), recited (hymns) dedicated to Rudra: 
the troop of mortal {Maruts), with (Inora), the sharer 
of half the oblation, knowing where Agni was hiding 
found him in his excellent retreat. 


Rig-veda Translation 

p. 12. 8 

5. The gods, discovering thee, sat down, and 
With their wives paid reverential adoration to thee 
upon their knees. Secure on beholding their friend, 
of being protected, thy friends, the gods, abandoned 
the rest of their bodies in sacrifice. 

6. (Devout men), competent to offer sacrifices, 
have known the thrice seven mystic rites comprised 
in thee, and with them, worshipped thee: do thou, 
therefore, with like affection, protect their cattle, 
and all that (belongs to them), moveable or stationary. 

7. Agni, who art cognizant of all things to be 
known, ever provide for the subsistence of men, 
grief-alleviating (food); so shalt thou be the diligent 
bearer of oblations, and messenger of the gods, know- 
ing the paths between (earth and heaven), by which 
they travel. 

8. The seven pure rivers that flow from heaven 
{are directed, Agni, by thee: by thee the priests), 
skilled in sacrifices, knew the doors of the (cave 
Where) the treasure, (their cattle), were concealed : 
for thee Sarama discovered the abundant milk of 
the kine with which man, the progeny of Manu, 
still is nourished. 

9. Thou hast been fed, (Agni, with oblations), 
ever since the Adityas, devising a road to immortality, 
instituted all (the sacred rites) that secured them from 
falling and mother earth, Aditi, strove with her 
magnitude to uphold (the world), along with her 
mighty sons.. 

10. (The offerers of oblations) have placed in this 
{Agni) the graceful honours (of the ceremony), and 

First Mandala 


1. 12. 9] 

the two portions of clarified butter that are the two 
eyes (of the sacrifice) ; then, the immortals come from 
heaven, and thy bright flames, Agni, spread in. all 
directions like rushing rivers, and the gods perceive 
it (and rejoice). 

I. 12. 9 

The Rishh deity and metre are the same. 

1. Agni, like patrimonial wealth, is the giver of 
food ; he is a director, like the instructions of one 
learned in scripture; he rests in the sacrificial 
chamber like a Welcome guest, and like an officiating 
priest, he brings prosperity on the house of the 

2. He who is like the divine Sun, who knows the 
truth (of things), preserves by his actions (his votaries), 
in all encounters; like nature, he is unchangeable, 
and, like soul, is the source of happiness: he is ever 
to be cherished. 

3. He Who, like the divine (Sun), is the supporter 
of the universe, abides on earth like a prince, (sur- 
rounded by) faithful friends; in his presence, men 
sit down like sons in the dwelling of a parent, and 
(in purity he resembles) an irreproachable and 
beloved wife. 

4. Such as thou art, Agni, men preserve thee 
constantly kindled in their dwellings, in secure places, 
and offer upon thee abundant (sacrificial) food : 
do thou, in whom is all existence, be the bearer of 
riches (for our advantage). 


Rig-veda Translation 

[I. 12. 9 

5. May thy opulent worshippers, Agni, obtain 
(abundant) food ; may the learned (who praise thee) 
and offer thee (oblations), acquire long life; may we 
gain in battles booty from our foes, presenting their 
portion to the gods for (the acquisition of) renown. 

6. The cows, loving (Agni, who has come to the 
hall of sacrifice), sharing his splendour, have brought 
with full udders (their milk) to be drunk. The rivers, 
soliciting his good will, have flowed from a distance 
in the^vicinity of the mountain. 

7. (The gods), who are entitled to worship, soli- 
citing thy good Will, have entrusted to thee, resplend- 
ent Agni, the (sacrificial) food, and, (for the due 
observance of sacred rites), they have made the night 
and morning of different colours, or black and purple. 

8. May we, mortals, whom thou hast directed 
(to the performance of sacrifices) for the sake of 
-riches, become opulent: filling heaven and earth, 
and the firmament (with thy radiance), thou protectest 
the whole world like a (sheltering) shade. 

9. Defended, Agni, by thee, may we destroy the 
horses (of our enemies) by (our) horses, their men by 
(our) men, their sons by (our) sons, and may our sons, 
learned, and inheritors of ancestral wealth, live for 
a hundred winters. 

10. May these our praises, sapient Agni, be 
grateful to thee, both in mind and heart; may we 
be competent to detain thy well -supporting wealth, 
offering upon thee their share of the (sacrificial 
food to the gods. 

I. 13. 1] First Mandala 115 


I. 13. 1 

The deity is Agni ; the Rishi Gotama, son of Rahugana V 
the metre Gayatri. 

1. Hastening to the sacrifice, let us repeat a prayer 
to Agni, who hears us from afar. 

2. Who, existing of old, has preserved wealth for 

the sacrifices when malevolent men are assembled 
together. • 

3. Let men praise Agni as soon as generated, the 
slayer of Vritra, and the winner of booty in many 
a battle. 

4. (The sacrifice!'), in whose house thou art 

the messenger of the gods, whose offering thou 
conveyest for their food, and whose sacrifice thou 
renderest acceptable. 

5. Him, Angiras, son of strength, men call 

fortunate in his sacrifice, his deity, his oblations. 

6. Bring hither, radiant Agni, the gods, to 

(receive) ou" praise and our oblations for their food. 

7. Whenever thou geest, Agni, on a mission of 
the gods, the neighing of the horses of thy .(swift)- 
moving chariot, however audible, is not heard. 

8. He who was formerly subject to a superior, 
having been protected, Agni, by thee, now stands in 
thy presence as an offerer (of oblations) without bash- 
fulness, and supplied with food. 

9. Verily, divine Agni, thou art -desirous of 

bestowing upon the offerer (of oblations) to the gods, 
ample (wealth), brilliant, and giving vigour. 

1 16 Rig-v^da Translation [1.13.2 


I.' 13. 2 

Rishi, deity, arid metre as before. 

1. Attend to our most earnest address, propiti- 
atory of the gods, accepting our oblations in thy mouth. 

2. And then, most wise Agni, chief of the 
Angirasas, may we address (to thee) an acceptable 
and gratifying prayer. 

3. Who, Agni, amongst men is thy kinsman ? 
who is worthy to offer thee sacrifice ? who, indeed, 
art thou, and where dost thou abide ? 

4. Worship for us, Mitra and Varuna; worship 
for us, all the gods; (celebrate) a great sacrifice; 
be present in thine own dwelling. 

I. 13. 3 

Rishi and deity as before ; the metre is Trishtubh . 

1. What approximation of the mind, Agni, to 
thee, can be accomplished for our good; what can 
a hundred encomiums (effect); who, by sacrifices, 
has obtained thy might; with what intent may we 
offer thee (oblations) ? 

2. Come, Agni, hither; invoker (of the gods), 
sit down; be our preceder ; for thou art irresistible: 
may the all-expansive heaven and earth defend thee, 
that thou mayest worship the gods to their great 
satisfaction. • 

3. Utterly consume all the Rakshasas, Agni, 
and be the protector of our sacrifices against inter- 
ruption. Bring hither the guardian of the Soma 

First Mandala 

1. 13. 4] 



juice, (Indra), with his stqeds, that we may show 
hospitality to the giver of good. 

4. I invoke (thee), who art the conveyer (of obla- 
tions), with thy flames, with a hymn productive of 
progeny (to the worshipper); sit down here with the- 
gods, and do thou, who art deserving of worship,, 
discharge the office of Hotri, or of Potri, and awaken 
us, thou who art the depository and generator of 

5. As at the sacrifice of the holy Manu, ihou, a 
sage amongst sages, didst worship the gods with 
oblations, so also, Agni, veracious invoker of the 
gods, do thou to-day (present the oblations), with an 
exhilarating ladle. 

I. 13. 4 

Rishi, etc., as before. 

1. What (oblations) may we offer to Agni 7 
what praise is addressed to the luminous (Agni) that 
is agreeable to the gods ? that Agni who is immortal 
and observant of truth, who is the invoker of the 
gods, the performer of sacrifices, and who, (present)- 
amongst men, conveys oblations to the deities. 

2. Bring hither, with praises, him who is most 
constant in sacrifices, observant of truth, and the 
invoker (of the gods), for Agni, when he repairs to 
the gods on the part of man, knows those (who are 
to be worshipped), and worships them with reverence. 

3. For he is the performer of rites, he is the des- 
troyer and reviver (of all things), and, like a friend 

118 Rig- veda Translation [1. 13 5 


he is the donor of unattained wealth; all men reve- 
rencing the gods, and approaching the well-looking 
Agni, repeat his name first in holy rites. 

4. May Agni, who is the chief director of sacri- 
fices, and the destroyer of enemies, accept our praise 
and worship with oblations, and may those who 
are affluent with great wealth, who are endowed with 
strength, and by whom the sacrificial food has been 
prepared, be desirous to offer adoration. 

5. Thus has Agni, the celebrator of sacrifices, and 
by whom all things are known, been hymned by the 
pious descendants of Gotama; to them has he given 
the bright Soma juice to drink, along with the sacri- 
ficial food, and, gratified by our devotion, he obtains 
nutriment (for himself). 

I. 13. 5 

The Rishi and deity are the same ; the metre is Gayatri . 

1. Knower and beholder of all that exists, 
Gotama celebrates thee, Agni, with praise: we praise 
thee repeatedly with commendatory (hymns). 

2. To thee, that (Agni) whom Gotama, desirous 
of riches, worships with praise, we offer adoration 
with commendatory (hymns). 

3. We invoke thee, such as thou art, the giver of 
abundant food, in like manner as did Angiras: we 
praise thee repeatedly with commendatory (hymns). 

4. We praise thee repeatedly with commendatory 
(hymns), who art the destroyer of Vritra, and who 
puttest the Dasyus to flight. 

First Mandala 


1. 13. 6] 

5. The descendants of R*ahugana have recited 
sweet speeches to Agni: we praise him repeatedly 
with commendatory (hymns). 

I. 13. 6 

The Rishi is the same ; Gotama ; the hymn consists of four 
Trie has, or triads; the deity of the first is the Agni of the middle 
region, the ethereal or electric fire or lightning ; the deity of the 
other triads is Agni in his general character ; the metre %f the 
first of them is Trish/ubh , of the second, Ushnish , and of the last 
two, Gayatri 

1. The golden-haired Agni is the agitator of the 
clouds when the rain is poured forth, and, moving 
with the swiftness of the wind, shines with a bright 
radiance. The mornings know not (of the showers), 
like honest (people), who, provided with food, are 
intent upon their own labours. 

2. Thy falling (rays), accompanied by the moving 
(Maruts), strike against (the cloud); the black 
shedder of rain has roared; when this is done, (the 
shower) comes with delightful and smiling (drops), 
the rain descends, the clouds thunder. 

3. When this, (the lightning, Agni), nourishes the 
world with the milk of the rain, and conducts it by 
the most direct Ways to (the enjoyment of) water, 
then Mitra, Aryaman, Varuna, and the circum- 
ambient (troop of Maruts ) pierce through the 
(investing) membrane into the womb, of (he cloud. 

4. Agni, son of strength, lord of food and of 
cattle, give us abundant sustenance, thou who k rev- 
est all that exists. 


Rig-veda Translation 

[I. 13 . & 

5. He, the blazing Agni, who is Wise, and the 
granter of dwellings, is to be praised by our hymns: 
Oh! thou whose mouth (glows) with many (flames), 
shine (propitiously, so) that food-providing Wealth 
may be ours. 

6. Shining Agni, drive off (all disturbers of the 
rite), either by thyself or (thy servants), whether by 
day or by night; sharp-visaged Agni. destroy the 
Rakshasas entirely. 

7. Agni, who in all rites art to be praised, guard 
us with thy protection, (propitiated) by the recitation 
of the metrical hymn. 

8. Grant us, Agni, riches that dispel poverty, 
that are desirable (to all), and cannot be taken (from 
us) in all encounters (with our foes). 

9. Grant us, Agni, for our livelihood, wealth, 
with sound understanding, conferring happiness, and 
sustaining (us) through life. 

10. Gotama, desirous of wealth, offers to the 
sharp-flaming Agni pure prayers and praises. 

11. May he, Agni, who annoys us, whether 
nigh or afar, perish ; and do thou be to us (propitious) 
for our advancement. 

12. The thousand-eyed, all-beholding Agni, drives 
away the Rakshasas, and, (praised by us) with holy 
hymns, he, the (invoker of the gods), celebrates their 

I. 13. 7] First Mandala 121 

• \/$* 

T. 13. .7 ' 

The Rishi is Gotama, as before, but the deity is Indra ; the 
metre is Pankti. 

1. Mighty wielder of the thunderbolt, when the 
priest had thus exaUed thee (by praise), and the 
exhilarating Soma juice (had been drunk), thou didst 
expel, by thy vigour, Ahi from the earth, manifesting 
thine own sovereignty. 

2. That exceedingly exhilarating Soma juice,, which 
was brought by the hawk (from heaven), when poured 
forth, has exhilarated thee, so that in thy vigour, 
thunderer, thou hast struck Vritra from the sky, 
manifesting thine own sovereignty. 

3. Hasten, assail, subdue; thy thunderbolt cannot 
fail ; thy vigour, Indra, destroys men ; slay Vritra, 
win the waters, manifesting thine own sovereignty. 

4. Thou hast struck Vritra from off the earth 
and from heaven; (now) let loose the wind-bound., 
life-sustaining rain, manifesting thine own sovereignty. 

5. Indignant Indra, encountering him, has struck 
with his bolt the jaw of the trembling Vritra, setting 
the waters free to flow, and manifesting his own 

6. Indra has struck him on the temple with his 
hundred-edged thunderbolt, and, exulting, wishes to 
provide means of sustenance for his friends, mani- 
festing his own sovereignty. 

7. Cloud-borne Indra, wielder of. the thunder- 
bolt, verily thy prowess is undisputed, since thou, 
with (superior) craft, hast slain that deceptive deer, 
manifesting thine own sovereignly. 


Rig-veDa Translation 

[L 13 . 7 

8. Thy thunderbolts, were scattered widely over 
ninety-and-nine rivers ; great is thy prowess, strength 
is deposited in thy arms, manifesting thine own 

9. A thousand mortals worshipped him together; 
twenty have hymned (his praise); a hundred (sages) 
repeatedly glorify him; so, Indra, is the oblation 
lifted up, manifesting thine own sovereignty. 

10. Indra overcame by his strength the strength 
of YrItra : great is his manhood, wherewith, having 
slain Vritra, he let loose the waters, manifesting 
his own sovereignty. 

11. This heaven and earth trembled, thunderer, 
at thy wrath, when, attended by the Maruts, thou 
slewest Vritra by thy prowess, manifesting thine 
own sovereignty. 

12. Vritra deterred not Indra by his trembling 
or his clamour; the many-edged iron thunderbolt 
fell upon him: (Indra) manifesting his own 

13. When thou, (Indra), didst encounter with 
thy bolt Vritra, and the thunderbolt (which he 
hurled), then. Indra, the strength of thee determined 
to slay Ahi was displayed in the heavens, manifesting 
thine own sovereignty. 

14. At thy shout, Wieldcr of the thunderbolt, all 
things, moveable or immoveable, trembled; even 
Twashtri shook with fear, Indra, at thy wrath, 
manifesting thine* own sovereignty. 

15. We know not of a certainty the all-pervading 
Indra; who (does know him, abiding) afar off in 

I. 13. 8] First Manpala 123 

his strength ? for in him hav.e the gods concentre. ted 
riches, and worship, and power, manifesting his own 

16. In like manner as of old, so in whatever act of 
worship Atharvan, or father Manij, or DadHYANCH 
engaged, their oblations and their hymns were all 
congregated in that Indra, manifesting his own 

i. 13. 8 \fQ\ 

The Rishi , deity, metre as before. 

1. Indra, the slayer of Vritra, has been aug- 
mented in strength and satisfaction by (the adoration 
of) men : we invoke him in great conflicts as well as 
in little ; may he defend us in battles. 

2. For thou, hero, Indra, art a host; thou art 
the giver of much booty; thou art the exalter of the 
humble; thou bestowest (riches) on the worshipper 
who offers thee oblations, for abundant is thy wealth. 

3. When battles arise, wealth devolves on the 
victor; yoke thy horses, bumblers of the pride (of 
the foe), that thou mayest destroy one and enrich 
another : place us, Indra, in affluence. 

4. Mighty through sacrifice, formidable (to foes), 
partaking of the sacrificial food, Indra has aug- 
mented his strength; pleasing in appearance, having 
a handsome chin, and possessing (bright) coursers, 
he grasps the iron thunderbolt in his contiguous 
hands for (our) prosperity. 

5. He has filled the space of earth and the firma- 
ment (with his glory); he has ( fixed the constellations 

124 Rig-veda Translation p. 13. 9 

in the sky : no one hay been ever born, nor will be 
born, Indra, like to thee: thou hast sustained the 

6. May Indra, the protector, who returns to the 
giver (of oblations) the food that is fit for mortals, 
bestow (such food) on us: distribute thy wealth, 
which is abundant, so that I may obtain (a portion) 
of thy riches. 

7. The upright performer of (pious) acts is the 

donor of herds of cattle to us, when receiving frequent 
enjoyment (from our libations): take up, Indra, 

with both hands, many hundred (sorts) of treasure; 
sharpen (our intellects), bring us wealth. 

8. Enjoy along with us, O hero, the suffused 
libation, for (the increase of our) strength and wealth : 
We know thee (to be) the possessor of vast riches, 
and address to thee our desires; be, therefore, our 

9. These, thy creatures, Indra, cherish (the obla- 
tion) that may be partaken of by all ; thou, lord of 
all, knowest what are the riches of those men who 
make no offerings: bring their wealth to us. 

1. 13. 9 r 

The deity and Rishi are the same ; the metre is Pankti, 
except in the . last stanza where it is Jagati. 

1. Approach, Maghavan, and listen to our 
praises ; be .not , different (from what thou hast 
hitherto been) since thou hast inspired us with true 
speech, thou art solicited with it; therefore, quickly 
yoke thy horses. 

I. 13. 10] First Mandala * 125 


2. (Thy worshipper?) havg eaten the food which 
thou hadst given, and have rejoiced, and have 
trembled through their precious (bodies); self- 
illuminated sages have glor'fied thee with commend- 
able thoughts; therefore, Indra, quickly yoke thy 

3. We praise thee, Maghavan, who Jookcst 
benignly (upon all); thus praised by us, repair (in 
thy car), filled with treasure, to those who desire 
thy presence: Indra, quickly yoke thy horses* 

4. May he ascend that chariot which rains (bless- 
ings), and grants cattle, and which provides the vessel 
filled with the mixture of Soma juice and grain: 
quickly, Indra, yoke thy horses. 

5. Performer of many (holy) acts, let thy steeds 
be harnessed on the right and on the left, and when 
exhilarated by the (sacrificial) food, repair in thy 
chariot to thy beloved wife: quickly, Indra, yoke 
thy horses. 

6. I harness thy long-maned steeds with (sacred) 
prayers : depart ; take the reins in your hands : the 
effused and exciting juices have exhilarated thee, 
wielder of the thunderbolt; thus filled with nutri- 
ment, rejoice with thy spouse. 

I. 13. 10 

Rishi and deity as before ; the metre is Jagoti. 

* • 

1. The man who is well protected, Indra, by 
thy cares, (and dwells) in a mansion where there are 
horses, is the first who goes to (that where there are) 

126 Rig-veda Translation [I. 13. 10 

cows; enrich him with. abundant riches, as the un- 
conscious rivers flow in all directions to the ocean. 

2. In like manner, as the bright waters flow to 
the sacrificial ladle, so they (the gods) look down 
(upon it); as the diffusive light (descends to earth), 
the gods convey it, desirous of being presented to 
them by progressive (movements to the altar), and 
are impatient to enjoy it, filled with the oblation, 
as bridegrooms (long for their brides). 

3. Thou hast associated, Indra, words of sacred 
praise with both (the grain and butter of oblation), 
placed together in ladles, and jointly presented to 
thee, so that (ti e sacriheer), undisturbed, remains 
(engaged) in thy worship, and is prosperous ; for 
to the sacrificer pouring out oblations (to thee), 
auspicious power j.- granted. 

4. The Angirasas first prepared (for Indra) the 
sacrificial food, and then, with kindled fire, (wor- 
shipped him) with a most holy rite: they, the insti- 
tutors (of the ceremony), acquired all the wealth of 
Pani, comprising horses, and cows, and (other) 

5. Atharvan first by sacrifices discovered the 
path (of the stolen cattle): then the bright sun, the 
cherisher of pious acts, was born. Atharvan 
regained the cattle; Kavya (Ushanas) was asso- 
ciated with him. Let us worship the immortal 
(Indra), who was i born to restrain (the Asuras). 

6. Whether the holy grass be cut (for the rite) 
that brings down blessings, whether the priest repeats 
the (sacred) verse in the brilliant (sacrifice), whether 


First Mandala 


the* stone (that expresses the Soma juice) sound like 
the priest who repeats the hymn, on all these occa- 
sions Indra rejoices. 

I. 13. 11 

The deity and the Rishi are the same, but the metre is 
diversified. The first six stanzas are in the Anushtubh metre, the 
three next in Ushnih , the three next in Pankti , the three next in 
Gayatri , and the next three in the Trishtubh ; the nineteenth*verse 
is in the Brihati , and the twentieth in the Satobrihati metre. 

1. The Soma juice has been expressed, Indra, 
for thee: potent humbler (of thy foes), approach; 
may vigour fill thee (by the potation), as the sun fills 
the firmament with his rays. 

2. May his horses bear Indra, who is of irresistible 
prowess, to the praises and sacrifices of sages and of 

3. Slayer of Vritra, ascend thy chariot, for thy 
horses have been yoked by prayer; may the stone 
(that bruises the Soma ) attract, by its sound, thy 
mind towards us. 

4. Drink, Indra, this excellent, immortal, exhila- 
rating libation, the drops of which pellucid (beverage) 
flow towards thee in the chamber of sacrifice. 

5. Offer worship quickly to Indra; recite hymns 
(in his praise); let the effused drops exhilarate him; 
pay adoration to his superior strength. 

6. When, Indra, thou harnessqst thy horses, 
there is no one a better charioteer than thou; no 
one is equal to thee in sti ength ; no one, 'although 

,v< til-horsed, has overtaken thecy 

128 S.IG-VEDA Translation [I 13. it 


7. He who alone bestows Wealth upon the mar 
who offers him oblations, is the undisputed sovereign, 
Indra : — ho ! 

8. When will he trample with his foot upon the 
man who offers no oblations, as if upon a coiled-up 
snake ; when will Indra listen to oar praises ? — ho ! 

9. Indra grants formidable strength to him who 
worships him, having libations prepared : — ho ! 

10. The white cows drink of the sweet Soma 
juice thus poured forth, and, associated with, the 
bountiful Indra, for the sake of beauty, rejoice: 
abiding (in their stalls), they are expectant of his 

11. Desirous of his contact, those brindled cows 
dilute the Some juice with their milk: the milch kino 
that are loved of Indra direct his destructive thunder- 
bolt against his foes, abiding (in their stalls), ex- 
pectant of his sovereignty. 

12. These intelligent kine reverence his prowess 
with the adoration (of their milk); they celebrate 
his many exploits as an example to later (adversaries); 
abiding (in their stalls), expectant of his sovereignty. 

13. Indra, with the bones of Dadhyanch, slew 
ninety times nine Vritras. 

14. Wishing for the horse’s head hidden in the 
mountains, he found it at Sharyanavat.' 

15. The (solar rays) found on this occasion the 
light of Twashtri verily concealed in the mansion 
of the moving moon. 

16. Who yokes to-day to the pole of the car (of 
Indra) his vigorous and radiant steeds, whose fury 

1. 13. 11] 

First Mandala 


is unbearable, in whose mouths are arrows, who 
trample on the hearts (of enemies), who give happiness 
(to friends). (The sacrificer) who praises their (per- 
formance of their) duties obtains (long) life. 

17. Who goes forth, (through dread of foes, when 
Indra is at hand); who is harmed (by his enemies); 
who is terrified; who is aware that Indra is present, 
who that he is nigh ? What need is there that any 
one should importune Indra ftr his son, his elephant, 
his property, his person, or his people? 

18. Who praises the (sacrificial) fire, (lighted for 
Indra), or worships him with the oblation of clarified 
butter, presented in the ladle, according to the cor- 
stant seasons ? To whom do the gods quickly bring 
(the wealth) th it has been called for ? What sacrificer, 
engaged in offering oblations and favoured by the 
gods, thoroughly knows Indra ? 

19. Powerful Indra, be present and be favourable 
to the mortal (who adores thee): there is no other 
giver of felicity, Maghavan, than thou ; hence, 
Indra, I recite thy praise. 

20. Granter of dwellings, let not thy treasury, 
let not thy benefits, ever be detrimental to us. Friend 
of mankind, bring to us, who are acquainted with 
prayers, all sorts of riches. 

130 Rig- veda Translation [I. 14. 1 


I. 14. 1 

The deities are the Maruts, the JRishi, Gotama : the metre 
of the fifth and twelfth verses is Trishtubh , of the rest, Jagati. 

1. The Maruts who are going forth decorate them- 
selves like females: they ar.: gliders (through the airj, 
the sons of Rudra, and, the doers of good works, 
by which they promote the welfare of earth and heaven : 
heroes, who grind (the so' id. rocks), they delight in 

2. They, inaugurated by the gods, have attained 
majesty; the sons of Rudra have established their 
dwelling above the sky: glorifying him. (Indra) who 
merits to be glorified, they have inspired him with 
vigour: the sons of Prishni have acquired dominion. 

3. When the sons of earth embellish themselves 
with ornaments, they shine resplendent in their 
persons with (brilliant) decorations; they keep aloof 
every adversary: the waters follow their path. 

4. They who are worthily worshipped shine with 

various weapons : incapable of being overthrown, 

they arc the over-throwers (of mountains) : Maruts, 
swift as thought, intrusted with the duty of sending 
rain, yoke the spatted deer to your cars. 

5. When, Maruts, urging on the cloud, for the 
sake of (providing) food, you have yoked the deer 
to your chariots, the drops fall from the radiant (sun), 
and moisten the qirth, like a hide, with water. 

6. Let your quick-paced, smooth-gliding coursers 
bear you (hither); and, moving swiftly, come with 
your hands (filled wit| good things): sit, Maruts, 

1. 14. 1] First Mandala t 131 

upon the broad seat of sacred grassland regale your- 
selves with the sweet sacrificial food. 

7. Confiding in their own strength, they have 
increased in (power); they have attained heaven by 
their greatness, and have made (for themselves) a 
spacious abode: may they, for whom Vishnu defends 
(the sacrifice) that bestows all desires and confers 
delight, come (quickly), like birds, and sit down 
upon the pleasant and sacred grass. 

8. Like heroes, like combatants, like men anxious 
for food, the swift-moving (Maruts) have engaged 
in battles : all beings fear the Maruts, who are 
the leaders (of the rain), ai d awful of aspect, like 

9. Indra, wields the well-made, golden, many- 
bladed thunderbolt, which the skilful Twashtri has 
framed for him, that he may achieve great exploits 
in war. He has slain Vritra and sent forth an 
ocean of water. 

10. By their power, they bore the well aloft, and 
clove asunder the mountain that obstructed their 
path : the munificent Maruts, blowing upon their 
pipe, have conferred, when exhilarated by the Soma 
juice, desirable (gifts upon the sacrificer). 

11. They brought the crooked Well to the place 

(where the Muni was), and sprinkled the water upon 
the thirsty Gotama: the variously-radiant (Maruts) 
come to his succour, gratifying the desire of the sage 
with life-sustaining (waters). , 

12. Whatever blessings (are diffused) through the 
three worlds, and are in your gift, do you bestow upon 

132 Rig-veda Translation [I. 14. 2 

the donor (of the oblation), who addresses you with 
praise; bestow them, .also, Maruts, upon us, and 
grant us, bestowers of all good, riches, whence springs 

T. 14. 2 

Rishi and deities the same ; the metre is Gayatri . 

1. , The man in whose mansion, resplendent 
Maruts, descending from the sky, you drink (the 
libation), is provided with most able protectors. 

2. Maruts, bearers of oblations, hear the invo- 
cation of the praises of the worshipper with or (with- 
out) sacrifices. 

3. And may he for whom ministrant priests have 
sharp-ended the sapient (troop of the Maruts), walk 
among pastures crowded with cattle. 

4. The libation is poured out for the hero (-band) 
at the sacrifice, on the appointed days, and the hymn 
is repeated, and their joy (is excited). 

5. May the Maruts, victorious over all men. 
hear (the praises) of this (their worshipper), and. may 
(abundant) food be obtained by him who praises 

6. Enjoying the protection of you who behold all 
things, we have offered you, Maruts, (oblations) 
for many years. 

7. Maruts, who are to be especially worshipped, 
may the man whose offering you accept be ever 

J. 14. 3] First Mandala , 133 

8. Possessors of tru ' vigour, be cognizant of the 
wishes of him who praises you, and toils in your 
service, desirous of (your favour). 

9. Possessors of true vigour, you have displayed 
your might, with the lustre (of which) you have 
destroyed the Rakshasas. 

10. Dissipate the concealing darkness ; drive away 
every devouring (foe); show us the light we long fcr. 

T. 14. 3 

Rishi and deities as before ; metre, Jagati. 

1. Annihilators (of adversaries), endowed with 
great strength, loud-shouting, unbending, inseparable 
partakers of the evening oblation, constantly wor- 
shipped, and leaders (of the clouds), (the Maruts), 
by their personal decorations, are conspicuous (in 
the sky), like cert* in rays of the sun. 

2. When, Maruts, flying like birds along a certain 
path, (of the sky), you collect the moving passing 
(clouds) in the nearest portions (of the Armament), 
then, coming into collision with your cars, they pour 
Forth (the waters) ; therefore, do you shower upon 
your worshipper the honey-coloured rain. 

3. When they assemble (the clouds) for the good 
work, earth trembles at their impetuous movements, 
like a wife (whose husband is away): sportive, capri- 
cious, armed with bright weapons, and agitating 
(the solid rocks), they manifest their, inherent might. 

4. The troop of Maruts is self-moving, deer- 
borne, ever young, lords of this - (earth), and invested 

134 Rig-veda Translation [I. 14.4 

with vigour: y,ou, who are sincere liberators from 
debt, irreproachable, ,and shedders of rain, are the 
protectors of this our rite. 

5. We declare by our birth from our ancient sire, 
that the tongue (of praise) accompanies the mani- 
festing (invocation of the Maruts) at the libations 
of the Soma', for, inasmuch as they stood by, en- 
couraging Indra in the conflict, they have acquired 
names that are to be recited at sacrifices. 

6. f Combining with the solar rays, they have 
willingly poured down (rain) for the welfare (of 
mankind), and, hymned by the priests, have been 
pleased partakers of the (sacrificial food); addressed 
with praises, moving swiftly, and exempt from fear 
they have become possessed of a station agreeable 
and suitable to the Maruts. 

I. 14. 4 

Rishi and deity as before ; the metre of the first and last 
stanzas Prastara-pankti, of the intermediate four, Jagati, 

1. Come, Maruts, with your brilliant light- 
moving, well-weaponed, steed-harnessed chariots; 
doers of good deeds, descend like birds, (and bring 
us) abundant food. 

2. To what glorifier (of the gods) do they repair 
With their ruddy, tawny, car-bearing horses for his 
advantage ? bright as burnished (gold), and armed 
with the thunderbolt, they furrow the earth with their 
chariot-wheels. , 

3. Maruts, the threatening (weapons) are upon 
your persons, (able to win) dominion : (to you) they 

I. 14. 5] First Mandala 135 


raise lofty sacrifices, like (tall) ,trees: well-born 

Maruts, for you do wealthy, worshippers enrich the 
stone (that grinds the Soma plant). 

4. Fortunate days have befallen you, (sons of 
Gotama), when thirsty, and have given lustre to the 
rite for which water was essential; the sons of 
Gotama, (offering) oblations with sacred hymns, have 
raised aloft the Well (provided) for their dwelling. 

5. This hymn is known to be the same as that 
which Gotama recited. Maruts, in your (praise), 
when he beheld you seated in your chariots with 
golden wheels, armed with iron weapons, hurrying 
hither and thither, and destroying your mightiest foes. 

6. This is that praise, Maruts, which, SLited 
(to your me its), glorifies every one of you. The 
speech of the priest has now glorified you, without 
difficulty, with sacred Verses, since (you have placed) 
food in our hands. 

I. 14. 5 

The Rishi, as before, Gotama ; but the hymn is addressed 
to the Viswadevas. The metre of the first five stanzas and of the 
seventh is Jagati , of the sixth, Viratsthana , and of the fast three, 

1. May auspicious works, unmolested, unimpeded, 
and subversive (of foes), come to us from every 
quarter; may the gods, turning not away from us, 
but granting us protection day by day, be ever with 
ns for our advancement. 

2. May the benevolent favour of the gods (be 
ours); may the bounty of the gods, ever ^approving 


Pig- veda Translation 

[1. 14. 5 

of the upright, light upon us: may we obtain the 
friendship of the gods.* and may the gods extend our 
days to longevity. 

3. We invoke them with an ancient text, Bhaga, 
Mitra, Aditi, Daksha, Asridh, Aryaman, Varuna, 
Soma, the Ash wins ; and may the gracious Saras- 
wati grant us happiness. 

4. May the wind waft to us the grateful medica- 
ment; may mother earth, may father heaven, (con- 
vey)nt (to us) ; may the stones that express the Soma 
juice, and are productive of pleasure, (bring) it (to us) : 
Ashwins, who are to be meditated upon, hear (our 

5. We invoke that lord of living beings, that pro- 
tector of things immoveable, Indra, who is to he 
propitiated by pious rites, for our protection : as 
Pushan has ever been our defender for the increase 
of our riches, so may he (continue) the unmolested 
guardian of our welfare. 

6. May Indra, who listens to much praise, guard 
our welfare; may Pushan, who knows all things, 
guard our welfare; may Tarkshya, with unblemished 
weapons, guard our welfare. 

7. May the Maruts, whose coursers are spotted 
deer, who are the sons of Prishni, gracefully-moving, 
frequenters of sacrifices, (seated) on the tongue of 
Agni, regarders (of all), and radiant as the sun, may 
all the gods come hither for our preservation. 

8. Let u$ hear, gods, with our ears, what is good ; 
objects of sacrifice, let us see with our eyes what is 
good ; lei us, engaged in your praises, enjoy, with 

1. 14. 6] First Mandala 137 


firm limb and (sound) bodies, the tepn of life granted 
by the gods. 

9. Since a hundred years were appointed (for the 
life of man), interpose not, gods, in the midst of our 
passing existence, by inflicting infirmity in our bodies 
so that our sons become our sires. 

10. Aditi is heaven; Aditi is the firmament; 
Aditt is mother, father, and son ; Aditi is all the 
gods; Aditi is the five classes of men; Aditi is 
generation and birth. 

I. 14. 6 

The Rishi is the same ; the deities are various, the metre 
Gay at rim 

1. May Varuna and the wise Mitra lead us, 
by straight paths, (to our desires) and Aryaman, 
rejoicing with the gods. 

2. For they are the distributors of wealth (over 
the world); and, never heedless, discharge their 
functions every day. 

3. May they, who are immortal, bestow upon us 
mortals, happiness, annihilating our foes. 

4. May the adorable Indra, the Maruts, Pushan, 
and Bhaga, so direct our paths, (that they may lead)* 
to thj attainment of good gifts. 

5. Pushan, Vishnu, Maruts, make our rites 
restorative of our cattle: make us prosperous. 

6. The winds bring sweet (rewards) to the sacri- 
fice r ; the rivers bring sweet (waters) : may the herbs 
yield sweetness to us. 


Rig-veda Translation 

P. 14. 7 

7. Miy night -and morn be sweet; may the region 
of the earth be full of sweetness; may the protecting 
heaven be sweet to us. 

8. May Vanaspati be possessed of sweetness 
towards us ; may the sun be imbued with sweetn ;ss ; 
may the cattle be sweet, to us. 

9. May Mitra be propitious to us ; may Varuna, 
may Aryaman, be propitious to us ; may Indra and 
Brihaspati be propitious to us; may the wide- 
stepping Vishnu be propitious to us. 

The Rishi is still Gotama, the deity is Soma ; from the fifth 
to the sixteenth stanza the metre is Gayatri ; the seventeenth, 
Ushnish , the rest, Trishtubh. 

1. Thou, Soma, art thoroughly apprehended by 
our understanding; thou leadest us along a straight 
path : b\ thy guidance, Indra, our righteous fathers 
obtained wealth amongst the gods. 

2. Thou, Soma, art the doer of good by holy acts; 
thou art powerful by thine energies, and knowest ail 
things; thou art the showerer (of benefits) by thy 
bounties, and (art great) by thy greatness; thou, 
the guide of men, hast been well nourished by sacri- 
ficial offerings. 

3. Thy acts are (like those) of the royal Varuna: 
thy glory. Soma, is great and profound ; thou art the 
purifier (of all), like the beloved Mitra; thou art 
the augmenter of all, like Aryaman. 

A. Endowed with all the glories (that are displayed) 
by thee in heaven, on earth, in the mountains, in the 

First Mandala , 


I. 14. 7] 

plants, in the waters, do thou, illustrious Soma, well- 
disposed towards us, and devoid of anger, accept our 

5. Thou, Soma, art the protector, the sovereign of 
she pious, or even the slayer of Vritra; thou art 
holy sacrifice. 

6. Thou, Soma, fond of praise, the lord of plants, 
art life to us : if thou wilt, we shall not die. 

7. Thou bestowest. Soma, upon him who wor- 
ships thee, whether old or young, wealth, that he*may 
enjoy, and live. 

8. Defend us, royal Soma, from every one seeking 
to harm us : the friend of one like thee can never 

9. Soma, be our protector with those assistances 
which are sources of happiness to the donor (of 

10. Accepting this our sacrifice, and this our 
praise, approach. Soma, and be to us as the aug- 
menter of our rite. 

11. Acquainted with hymns, we elevate thee with 
praises : do thou, who art benignant, approach. 

12. Be unto us. Soma, the bestower of wealth, 
the remover of disease, the cognizant of riches, the 
augmenter of nutriment, an excellent friend. 

13. Soma, dwell happy in our hearts, like cattle 
in fresh pastures, like men in their own abodes. 

14. The experienced sage commends the mortal 
who, through affection, divine Soma., praises thee. 

15. Protect us. Soma, from calumny, preserve us 
from sin ; pleased With our seryfce, be our friend. 

7 * 


[I. 14. 7 

Rig-veda Translation 


16. Increase* Soma: may vigour come to thee 
from every side: be diligent in the supply of food 
(to us). 

17. Exulting Soma, increase with all twining 
plants ; be to us a friend : well supplied with food, 
we may prosper. 

18. May the milky juices flow around thee; may 
sacrificial offerings ard vigour be concentrated in the 
destroyer of foes ; and, being fully nourished, do thou 
provide. Soma, excellent viands in heaven for our 

19. Whichever of thy glories (mer) worship with 
oblations, may our sacrifice be invested with them 
all : come to our mansions. Soma, who art the bestow- 
er of wealth, the transporter (over difficulties); 
attended by valiant heroes, the non-destroyer of 

20. To him who presents (offerings). Soma gives 
a milch-cow, a swift horse, and a son who is able 
in affairs, skilful in domestic concerns, assiduous in 
worship, eminent in society, and who is an honour 
to his father. 

21. We rejoice. Soma, contemplating thee, in- 
vincible in battle, triumphant amongst hosts, the 
granter of heaven, the giver of rain, the preserver of 
strength, born amidst sacrifices, occupying a brilliant 
dwelling, renowned and victorious. 

22. Thou, Soma, hast generated all these herbs, 

the water, ard^ the kine ; thou hast spread out the 
spacious firmament; thou hast scattered darkness 
with light. a 


T. 14. 8] First Mandala 


23. Divine and potent Soma, bestow upon us, 
with thy brilliant mind, a portion of Wealth: may 
no (adversary) annoy thee; thou art supreme over 
the valour of (any) two (mutual) opponents: defend 
us (from our enemies) in battle. 

1. 14. 8 

The Rishi is Gotama, the deity is Ushas (the dawn! , except 
in the last triad, which is addressed to the Ashwins, The metre 
of the first four verses is Jagati , of the last six Ushnish , of the 
rest Trishtubh . 

1. These divinities of the morning have spread 
light (over the world); they make manifest the light 
in the eastern portion of the firmament, brightening 
all things, like warriors burnishing their weapons; 
the radiant and progressing mothers (of the earth), 
they travel daily (on their course). 

2. Their purple rays have readily shot upwards ; 
they have yoked the easily-yoked and ruddy kir.e 
(to their car); the deities of the dawn have restored, 
as of yore, the consciousness (of sentient creatures), 
and, bright-rayed, have attended upon the glorious 

3. The female leaders (of the morning) illuminate 
with their inherent radiance the remotest parts (of 
the heaven), with a simultaneous effort, like warriors 
(with their shining arms in the van of battle), bring- 
ing every kind of food to the pe former of good 
works, to the bountiful, and to ihe worshipper who 

. presents libations. « 

142 R'iG-veda Translation [1. 14. 8 

4. Ushas cuts off the accumulated (glooms), as 
a barber (cuts off the hair); she bares her bosom as 
a cow yields her udder (to the milker); and, as cattle 
hasten to their pastures, she speeds to the east, and. 
shedding light upon all the world, dissipates the 

5. Her brilliant light is first seen towards (the 
east); it spreads and disperses the thick darkness: 
she anoints her beauty as the priests anoint the sacri- 
ficial* food in sacrifices: the daughter of the sky 
awaits the glorious sun. 

6. We have crossed over the boundary of dark- 
ness. Ushas restores the consciousness (of living 
beings); bright-shining, she smiles, like a flatterer 
to obtain favour, and, lovely in all her radiance, 
she has swallowed, for our delight, the darkness. 

7. The brilliant daughter of the sky, the exciter 
of pleasant voices, is praised by the descendants of 
Gotama. Ushas, grant us food associated with 
progeny and dependants, and distinguished by horses 
and cattle. 

8. May I obtain, Ushas, that ample wealth which 
confers fame, posterity, troops of slaves, and is 
characterized by horses; which thou, who aboundest 
in riches, and art the giver of food, displayest, (when 
gratified) by hymns and holy sacrifices. 

9. The divine (Ushas), having lighted up the 

whole world, spreads, expanding with her radiance, 
towards the we£t, arousing all living creatures to 
their labours; she hears the speech of all endowed 
with thought. \ 

I. 14. 8] First Mandala ' 14T 


10. The divine and ancient Ushas, bom again 
and again, and bright with unchanging hues, wastes 
away the life of a mortal, like the wife of a hunter 
cutting up and dividing the birds. 

11. She has been seen illuminating the boundaries- 
of the sky, and driving into disappearance the 
spontaneously-retiring (night); Wearing away the 
ages of the human race, she shines with light like the 
bride of the sun. 

12. The affluent and adorable Ushas has sent her 
rays abroad, as (a cowherd drives) the cattle (to 
pasture), and spreads expansive, like flowing water;, 
she is beheld associated With the rays of the sun, 
unimpeding sacred ceremonies. 

13. Ushas, possessor of food, bring us that 
various wealth by which we may sustain sons and 

14. Luminous Ushas, possessor of cows and 
horses' true of speech, dawn here to-day upon this 
(ceremony), that is to bring us wealth. 

15. Possessor of food, Ushas, yoke, indeed, to-day 
your purple steeds and bring to us all good things. 

16. Ashwins, destroyers of foes, turn with 
favourable intentions your chariot towards « 5 r 
abode, .which contains cattle and gold. 

17. Ashwins, who have sent adorable light from 
heaven to man, bring us strength. 

18. May the steeds awakened at dawn bring, 
hither, to drink the Soma juice, the divine Ashwins, 
who are the givers of happinpgs, the destroyers of 
foes, seated in a golden chariot. 

144 Rig-veda Translation [I. 14. 9 

I. 14. 9 

The Riski is Gotama, the deities are Aoni and Soma ; the 
metre of the three first stanzas is Anushtubh ; of three, beginning 
with the ninth, Gayatri ; of the eighth, Jagati or Trishtubh , and 
of the rest, Trishtubh. 

1. Agni and Soma, showerers (of desires), 
favourably hear this my invocation, graciously accept 
my hymns, and bestow felicity on the donor (of the 

2. Agni and Soma, grant to him who addresses 
this prayer to you both, store of cattle with sound 
strength and good horses. 

3. Agni and Soma, may he who offers you the 
oblation of clarified butter, enjoy sound strength, 
with progeny, through all his life. 

4. Agni and Soma, that prowess of yours, by 
which you have carried off the cows that were the 
food of Pani, is (well) known to us ; you have 4 slain 
the offspring of Brisaya and you have acquired the 
one luminary (the sun), for the benefit of the many. 

5. You two, Agni and Soma, acting together, 
have sustained these constellations in the sky; you 
have liberated the rivers that had been defiled from 
the notorious imputation. 

6. Agni and Soma, the wind brought one of you 
from heaven, a hawk carried off the other by force 
from the summit of the mountain ; growing vast by 
praise, you have made the world wide for (the per- 
formance of) sacrifice. 

7. Agni and SoMA-Aj>artake of the proffered obla- 
tion; be gracious to u\ ; showerers (of desires), be 


1. 15. 1] First MandalX 


pleased ; prosperous and diligent protectors, be pro- 
pitious, and grant to the sacrificer health and 
exemption from ill. 

8. Agni and Soma, protect his sacrifice and defend 
him from ill, who, with a mind devoted to the gods; 
worships you with clarified butter and oblations : grant 
to the man engaged (in devotion) extreme felicity. 

9. Agni and Soma, endowed with the like wealth, 
and invoked by a common invocation, share our 
praises, for you have (ever) been the chief* of the 

10. Agni and Soma, give ample (recompense) 
to him who presents to you both this clarified butter. 

11. Agni and Soma, be pleased with these our 
oblations, and come to us together. 

12. Agni and Soma, cherish our horses, and may 
our cows, affording (milk that yields butter foi) 
oblations, be well nourished; give to us, who are 
affluent, strength (to perform) religious rites, and 
make our sacrifice productive of wealth. 

I. 15. 1 

The Rishi is Kctsa, the son of Angiras ; the deity is Agni, 
associated in three parts of the eighth stanza with the gods in 
general, and in the half of the last with different divinities. The- 
metre of the two last stanzas is Trishtubh , of the rest, Jagati. 

1. To him who is worthy of praise, and all-know- 
ing, we construct, with our jnjnds, this hymn, as 
(a workman makes) a car : happy is our understand- 

Ri<j-veda Translation 


p. 15. 1 

ing when engaged in his adoration : let us not suffer 
injury, Agni, through thy friendship. 

2. He, for whom thou sacrificest, accomplishes 
(his objects), abides free from aggression, and enjoys 
(wealth, the source of) strength ; he prospers, and 
poverty never approaches him: let us not suffer 
injury, Agni, through thy friendship. 

3. May we be able to kindle thee: perfect the 
rite, for through thee the gods partake of the offered 
oblations: bring hither the Adilyas, for we love 
them: let us not suffer injury, Agni, through thy 

4. We bring fuel, we offer oblations, reminding 
thee of the successive seasons (of worship); do thou 
thoroughly complete the rite, in order to prolong 
our lives : let us not suffer injury, Agni, through thy 

5. His genial (flames), the preservers of mankind, 
spread around, and both bipeds and quadrupeds are 
enlivened by his rays; shining with various lustre, 
and illuminating (the world by night), thou art 
superior to the dawn : let us not, Agni, suffer injury 
through thy friendship. 

6. Thou art the sacrificing or the invoking priest, 
thou art the principal (presenter of the offering), 
the director (of the ceremonies), their performer, or 
by birth the family priest ; thus conversant with all the 
priestly functions, thou performest perfectly the rite : 
let us not, Agni, suffer injury through thy friendship. 

7. Thou t art of. graceful form, and alike on every 
side, and, although rertoote, shinest as if nigh: thou 

1. 15. 1] First Manual a, 147 

seest, divine Agni, beyond the darkness of night: 
let us not, Agni, suffer injury through thy friend- 

8. Gods, let the chariot of the offerer of the 
libation be foremost; let our denunciations over-, 
whelm the wicked : understand and fulfil my words ; 
let us not suffer injury, Agni, through thy friendship. 

9. Overcome with your fatal (weapons) the 
wicked and the impious, all who are enemies, whether 
distant or near; and then provide an easy (path) for 
the sacrifxcer who praises thee: let us not, Agni„ 
suffer injury through thy friendship. 

10. When thou hast yoked the bright red horses, 
swift as the wind, to thy car, thy roar is like that of a 
bull, and thou enwrappest the forest trees with 
a banner of smoke: let us not, Agni, suffer injury 
through thy friendship. 

11. At thy roaring, even the birds are terrified: 
when. thy flames, consuming the grass, have spread 
in all directions, (the wood) is easy of access to thee 
and to thy chariots : let us not, Agni, suffer injury 
through thy friendship. 

12. May this, (thy adorer), enjoy the support of 
Mitra and of Varuna: wonderful is the fury of 
the Maruts: (dwellers in the region) below (the 
heavens), encourage us, and may their minds again 
(be gracious) to us: let us not suffer injury, Agni,. 
through thy friendship. 

13. Thou, brilliant (Agni), art .the especial friend 
of the gods; thou, who art graceful in the sacrifice, 
art the confirmer of all riches vintry we bt present in 

148 RiG-yEDA Translation [I. 15. 2 

thy most spacious Chamber of sacrifice: let us not, 
Agni, suffer injury through thy friendship. 

14. Pleasant is it to thee when thou art lighted in 
thine own abode, and, propitiated by libations, art 
praised (by the priests): then, much delighted, thou 
givest rewards and riches to the worshipper: let us 
not, Agni, suffer injury through thy friendship. 

15. (Fortunate is the worshipper) to whom, 
(assiduous) in all pious works, thou, possessor of 
riches, invisible Agni, grantest exemption from sin, 
whom thou associatest with auspicious strength, 
may he be (enriched) by thee with wealth that com- 
prehends progeny. 

16. Do thou, divine Agni, who knowest what is 
good fortune, on this occasion prolong our existence, 
and may Mitra, Varuna, Aditi,' — ocean, earth, and 
heaven, preserve it to us. 

I. 15. 2 

The deity is Agni, having the attributes of the dawn, or the 
Agni entitled to a share of the morning oblation, or the pure or 
simple Agni. The Rishi is Kutsa, the metre, Trishtubh. 

1. Two periods, of different complexions, revolve 
for their own purposes, and each in succession seve- 
rally nourishes a son; in one, Hari is the receiver 
of oblations, in the other, the brilliant Agni is beheld. 

2. The vigilant and youthful Ten beget, through 
the wind, this embryo Agni, inherent (in all beings), 
sharp-visaged, universally renowned, shining among 
men; him they conduct (to every dwelling). 

1. 15. 2] First Mandala 149 


3. They contemplate three places of his birth; 
one in the ocean, one in the heaven, one in the firma- 
ment; and, dividing the seasons of the year for the 
benefit of earthly creatures, he formed, in regular 
succession, the eastern quarter. 

4. Which of you discerns the hidden Agni ? a 
son, he begets his mothers by oblations ; the germ of 
many (waters), he issues from the ocean, mighty 
and wise, the recipient of oblations. 

5. Appearing amongst them (the waters), the 
bright-shining (Agni) increases, rising above the 
flanks of the waving waters, spreading his own 
renown: both (heaven and earth) are alarmed, as 
the radiant Agni is born, and, approaching the lion, 
they pay him honour. 

6. Both the auspicious ones (day and night) 
wait upon him like two female attendants, as lowing 
kine (follow their calves) by the paths (that they have 
gone); he has been the lord of might among the 
mighty, whom (the priests) on the right (of the altar) 

7. Like the sun, he stretches forth his arms, and 
the formidable Agni, decorating both heaven and 
earth (with brightness), labours (in his duties); he 
draws up from everything the essential (moisture), 
and clothes (the earth) with new vestments (derived) 
from his maternal (rains). 

8. Associated in the firmament with the moving 
waters, he assumes an excellent and lustrous form, 
and the wise sustainer (of all things) sweeps over 
the source (of the rains with hisjadianqe). whence a 

150 Rig-veda Translation p. 15. 3 

concentration of light is spread abroad by the sportive 

9. The vast and victorious radiance of thee, the 
mighty one, pervades the firmament: Agni, who 
hast been kindled by us, preserve us with all thy 
undiminished and protecting glories. 

10. He causes the waters to flow in a torrent 
through the sky, and with those pure waves he in- 
undates the earth; he gathers all (articles of) food 
in the jitomach, and for that purpose sojourns in the 
new-sprung parents (of the grain). 

11. Agni, who art the purifier, growing with the 
fuel we have supplied, blaze for the sake of (securing) 
food to us, who are possessed of wealth; and may 
Mitra, Varuna, Aditi, — ocean, earth, and heaven, 
preserve it to us. 

1 . 15 . 3 

The Rishi and metre are as before ; the deity is Agni, but 
either in his general character, or as Dravinoda . 

1. Engendered by force, Agni verily appropriates, 
us soon as born, the offerings of the sages : the 
waters and voice make him their friend, and the gods 
retain him as the giver of (sacrificial) wealth. 

2 . (Propitiated) by the primitive laudatory hymn 
<of Ayu, he created the progeny of the Manus, and 
pervades, with his all-investing splendour, the heavens 
and the firmament: the gods retain Agni as the giver 
of (sacrificial) .wealth. 

3. Approaching him, let all men adore Agni, the 
-chief (of the gods); -the accomplisher of sacrifices, 

First Mandala 


I. 15. 3] 

who is gratified by oblations anti propitiated by 
praises, — the offspring of food, the sustainer of (all 
men), the giver of continual gifts: the gods retain 
Agni as the giver of (sacrificial) wealth. 

4. May Agni, the dweller in the firmament, the 
nourisher with abundant benefits, the bestower of 
Swarga, the protector of mankind, the progenitor 
of heaven and earth, instruct my sons in the right 
way : the gods retain Agni as the giver of (sacrificial) 

5. The night and the day, mutually effacing 
each other’s complexion, give nourishment, com- 
bined together, to one infant, who, radiant, shines 
between earth and heaven : the gods retain Agni 
as the giver of (sacrificial) wealth. 

6. The source of opulence, the bestower of riches, 
the director of the sacrifice, the accomplisher of the 
desires (of the man) who has recourse to him; him, 
the gods, preserving their immortality, retain as the 
giver of (sacrificial) wealth. 

7. The gods retain Agni as the giver of (sacri- 
ficial) wealth, who now is, and heretofore has been, 
the abode of riches, the receptacle of all that has 
been, and all that will be, born, and the preserver 
of all (that) exists, (as well as of all) that are coming 
into existence. 

8. May Dravinoda grant us (a portion) of 

moveable wealth ; may Dravinoda grant us (a 
portion) of that which is stationary may Dravinoda 
give us food attended by progeny; may Dravinoda 
bestow upon us long life. , - 

152 Rig- veda Translation [1.15.4 


9’. Thus, Agni, who art the purifier, growing with 
the fuel (we have supplied), blaze for the sake cf 
securing food to us, who are possessed of wealth, 
and may Mitra, Varuna, Aditi, — ocean, earth, and 
heaven, preserve it to us. 

T. 15. 4 

The Rishi is the same, the deity Agni, as pure fire, or that; 
of which purity is, the attribute ; the metre is Gayatri . 

1. ® May our sin, Agni, be repented of; manifest 
riches to us ; may our sin be repented of. 

2. We worship thee for pleasant fields, for good 
roads, and for riches: may our sin be repented of. 

3. (In like manner as, among these thy worshippers. 
Kutsa) is the pre-eminent panegyrist, so are our 
encomiasts (of thee) the most distinguished : may 
our sin be repented of. 

4. Inasmuch as thy worshippers (are blessed with 
descendants), so may We, (by repeating thy' praise), 
obtain posterity: may our sin be repented of. 

5. Since the victorious flames of Agni penetrate 
universally, may our sin be repented of. 

6. Thou, whose countenance is turned to all 
sides, art our defender: may our sin be repented of. 

7. Do thou, whose countenance is turned to all 
sides, send off our adversaries, as if in a ship, (to the 
opposite shore): may our sin be repented of. 

8. Do thou convey us in a ship across the sea, 
for our welfare :’ may our sin be repented of. 

1 15. 5] First Mandala 153 

T. 15. 5 

Kishi as before ; the deity is either Vaishwanara, or the 
pure ( Shuddha ) Agni ; the metre is Trishtubh. 

1. Mty we continue in the favour of Vaishwa- 
nara, for verily he is the august sovereign of all 
beings: as soon as generated! from this (wood), he 
surveys the universe ; he accompanies the rising sun. 

2. Agni, who is present in the sky, and present 
upon earth, and who, present, has pervaded all herbs : 
may the Agni Vaishwanara, who is present in 
vigour, guard us night and da. , against our enemies. 

3. Vaishwanara, may this (thy adoration be 
attended) by real (fruit); may precious treasures wait 
upon us, and may Mitra, Varuna, Aditi, — ocean, 
earth, and heaven, preserve them to us. 

I. 15. 6 

The Rishi is Kashyapa, the son of Marichi, and the hymn, 
consisting of a single stanza in the Trishtubh metre, is addressed 
to Agni as Jata vedas. 

1. We offer oblations of Soma to Jata vedas; 
may he consume the wealth of those who feel enmity 
against us ; may he transport us over all difficulties : 
may Agni convey us, as in a boat over a river, across 
all wickedness. 


Rig-veda Translation 

[I. 15. 7 

The deity is Indr a, the Rishis are the Varshagiras, or five 
sons of Vrishagir, a Raja , who were Rajarshis , or regal sages, 
severally named in the seventeenth stanza. The metre is Trishtubh. 

1. May he who is the showerer of desires, who is 
co-dweller with (all) energies the supreme ruler over 
the vast heaven and earth, the sender of water, and 
to be invoked in battles; may Indra, associated with 
the Maruts, be our protection. 

2> May he whose course, like that of the sun, is 
not to be overtaken, who in every battle is the slayer 
of his foes, the witherer (of opponents), who, with 
his swift-moving friends (the winds), is the most 
bountiful (of givers); may Indra, associated with 
the Maruts, be our protection. 

3. May he, whose rays, powerful and unattainable, 
issue forth like those of the sun, milking (the clouds); 
he who is victorious over his adversaries, triumphant 
by his manly energies; may Indra, associated with 
the Maruts, be our protection. 

4. He is the swiftest among the swift, most bounti- 
ful amongst the bountiful, a friend with friends, 
venerable among those who claim veneration, and 
pre-eminent among those deserving of praise: may 
Indra, associated with the Maruts, be our pro- 

5. Mighty with the Rudras, as if with his sons, 
victorious in battle over his enemies, and sending 
down with his c<s-dwellers (the waters which are pro- 
ductive of) food : Indra, associated with the Maruts. 
be our prdtectibrfT'*'' 

1.15.7] First Mandala, 155 

6. May he, the represser of (hostile) wrath, the 
author of war, the protector of the good, the invoked 
of many, share With our people on this day the (light 
of the) sun : may Indra, associated with the Maruts,. 
be our protection, 

7. Him, his allies, the Maruts, animate in battle ; 
him, men regard as the preserver of their property; 
he alone presides over every act of worship: may 
Indra, associated with the Maruts, be our protection. 

8. To him, a leader (to victory), his worshippers 
apply in contests of strength for protection and for 
wealth, as he grants them the light (of conquest) in 
the bewildering darkness (of battle): may Indra, 
associated with the Maruts, be our protection. 

9. With his left hand he restrains the malignant, 
with his right he receives the (sacrificial) offerings; 
he is the giver of riches, (when propitiated) by one 
who celebrates his praise: may Indra, associated 
with the Maruts, be our protection. 

10. He, along with his attendants, is a benefactor;, 
he is quickly recognized by all men to-day, through 
his chariots; by his manly energies he is victor over 
unruly (adversaries): may Indra, associated with 
the Maruts, be our protection. 

11. Invoked by many, he goes to battle with his 
kinsmen, or with (followers) not of his kindred; 
he secures the (triumph) of those who trust him, 
and of their sons and grandsons : may Indra, asso- 
ciated with the Maruts, be our .protection. 

12. He is the wielder of the thunderbolt, the slayer 
of robbers, fearful and fierce, stowing 'many things. 

156 Rig-veda Translation [I. 15. 7 

much eulogized, and mighty, and, like the Soma 
juice, inspiring the five classes of beings with vigour : 
may Indra, associated with the Maruts, be our 

13. His thunderbolt draws cries (from his ene- 
mies), he is the sender of good waters, brilliant as 
(the luminary) of heaven, the thunderer, the promoter 
of beneficent acts, upon him do donations and riches 
attend: may Indra, associated with the Maruts, 
be our ’protection. 

14. Miy he, of whom the excellent measure 
(of all things), through strength, eternally and every- 
where cherishes heaven and earth, propitiated by 
our acts, convey us beyond (evil) : may Indra, asso- 
ciated with the Maruts, be our protection. 

15. Nor gods, nor men, nor waters, have reached 
the limit of the strength of that beneficent (divinity), 
for he surpasses both earth and heaven by his foe- 
consuming (might) : may Indra, associated with' the 
Maruts, be our protection. 

16. The red and black coursers, long-limbed, well- 
caparisoned, and celestial, and harnessed, well- 
pleased, to the yoke of the chariot in which the 
showerer of benefits is conveyed, for the enrichment of 
Rijrashwa, and is recognized amongst human hosts. 

17. Indra, showerer (of benefits), the Varsha- 
giras, Rijrashwa and his companions, Ambarisha, 
Sahadeva, Bhayamana, and Suradhas, address to 
thee this propitiator^ praise. 

18. Indra, whQjs invoked by many, attended by 
the moving (MarutsJT having attacked the Dasyus 

First Mandala 


1. 15. 8] 

and the Shimyus, slew them with his thunderbolt; 
the thunderer then divided the fields with his white- 
complexioned friends, and rescued the sun and set 
free the water. 

19. May Indra be daily our vindicator, and may 
we, with undiverted course, enjoy (abundant) food: 
and may Mitra, Varuna, Aditi, — ocean, earth, and 
heaven, preserve it to us. 

X. 15. 8 

The Rishi is Kutsa, the son of Angiras ; the deity, Indra ; 
the metre of the first seven stanzas is Jagati, of the last four, 

1. Offer adoration with oblations to him who is 
delighted (with praise), who, with Rijishwan, 
destroyed the pregnant wives of Krishna : desirous 
of protection, we invoke, to become our friend, 
him, who is the showerer (of benefits), who holds 
the thunderbolt in his right hand, attended by the 

2. We invoke to be our friend, Indra, who is 
attended by the Maruts; he who, with increasing 
wrath, slew the mutilated Vritra, and Shambara, 
and the unrighteous Pipru, and who extirpated the 
unabsorbable Shushna. 

3. We invoke to become our friend, Indra, who 
is attended by the Maruts; whose great power 
(pervades) heaven and earth, in whose service Varuna 
and Surya are steadfast, and whose command the 
rivers obey. 

158 Rip-vEDA Translation [1. 15. 8 

4. Who is the lord over all horses and cattle, who 
is independent, who, propitiated by praise, is constant 
in every act, and who is the slayer of the obstinate 
abstainer from libations: we invoke to become our 
friend, Indra, attended by the Maruts. 

5. Who is the lord of all moving and breathing 
creatures, who first recovered the (stolen) kine for 
the Brahman, and who slew the humbled Dasyw. 
we invoke to become our friend, Indra, attended by 
the Maruts..,. 

6. Who is to be invoked by the brave and by the 
timid, by the vanquished and by Victors, and whom 
all beings place before them fin their rites) : We invoke 
to become our friend, Indra, attended by the Maruts. 

7. The radiant Indra proceeds (along the firma- 
ment) with the manifestation of the Rudras: 
through the Rudras, speech spreads with more 
expansive celerity, and praise glorifies the renowned 
Indra: him, attended by the Maruts, we invoke to 
become our friend. 

8. Attended by the winds, giver of true wealth, 
whether thou mayest be pleased (to dwell) in a 
stately .mansion or in a lowly dwelling, come to our 
sacrifice: desirous of thy presence, we offer thee 

9. Desirous of thee, Indra, who art possessed of 
excellent strength, we pour forth to thee libations: 
desirous of thee, who art obtained by prayer, 
we offer thee oblations; therefore, do thou, who art 
possessed of horses, sit down with pleasure upon the 
sacred grass; atteiftrett by the Maruts, at this sacrifice. 

First Mandala 


1. 15. 9] 

10. Rejoice, Indra, with the steeds who are of 
thy nature; open thy jaws, set wide thy throat (to 
drink the Soma juice); let thy horses bring thee, 
who hast a handsome chin, (hither), and, benignant 
towards us, be pleased by our oblations. 

11. Protected by that destroyer (of foes), who is 
united in praise with the Maruts, we may receive 
sustenance from Indra; and may Mitra, Varuna, 
Aditi, — ocean, earth, and heaven, preserve it to us. 

I. 15. 9 

The Rishi and deity as in the last ; the metre of the first eight 
stanzas is Jagati, of the last, Trishtubh. 

1. I address to thee, who art mighty, this excellent 
hymn, because thy understanding has been gratified 
by my praise: the gods have successively delighted 
that Victorious Indra with the power (of praise), for 
the sake, of prosperity and Wealth. 

2. The seven rivers display his glory; heaven, 
and earth, and sky display his visible form: the sun 
and moon, Indra, perform their revolutions, that 
we may see, and have faith in what We see. 

3. Maghavan, despatch thy chariot to bring us 
wealth; that victorious car which, Indra, who art 
much praised by us in time of war, we rejoice to 
behold in battle : do thou, Maghavan, grant happi- 
ness to those who are devoted to thee. 

4. May we, having thee for our, ally, overcome 
our adversaries in every encounter; defend our 

160 Rig-veda Translation [I. 15. 9 


portion ; render ( riches easily attained by us ; enfeeble, 
Maghavan, the vigour of our enemies. 

5. Many are the men who call upon thee for thy 
protection : mount thy car to bring wealth to us, for 
thy mind, Indra, is composed, and resolved on 

6. Thy arms are the winners of cattle, thy wisdom 
is unbounded, thou art most excellent, the grantor 
of a hundred aids in every rite: the author of war, 
Indra is uncontrolled ; the type of strength ; where- 
fore* men, *who are desirous of wealth, invoke him 
in various ways. 

7. The food, Maghavan, (which is to be given 
by thee) to men, may be more than sufficient for a 
hundred, or for more, even, than a thousand : great 
praise has glorified thee, who art without limit, 
whereupon thou destroyest thy enemies. 

8. Strong as a twice-twisted rope, thou art the 
type of strength; protector of men, that art more 
than able to sustain the three spheres, the three lumi- 
naries, and all this world of beings, Indra, who hast 
from birth ever been without a rival. 

9. We invoke thee, Indra, the first among the 
gods; thou hast been the victor in battles: may 
Indra put foremost in the battle this our chariot, 
which is efficient, impetuous, and the uprooter (of 
all impediments). 

10. Thou conquerest, and withholdest not the 
booty: in trifling or in serious conflicts, we sharpen 
thee, fierce Maghavan, for our defence; do thou, 
therefore, ins pirit u s in our defiances. 

I. J5. 10] First Mandala , 161 

11. May Indra daily be our vindicator, and may 
we, with undiverted course, enjoy abundant food; 
and may Mitra, Varuna, Aditi, — ocean, earth, 
and heaven, preserve it to us. 

I. 15. 10 j//9 3 

The Rishi and deity as before ; the metre, Trishtubh . 

1. The sages have formerly been possessed of this 
thy supreme power, Indra, as if it were present with 
them, one light of whom shines upon the earth, the 
other in heaven, and both are in combination with 
each other, as banner (mingles with banner) in battle. 

2. He upholds, and has spread out, the earth; 
having struck (the clouds), he has extricated the 
waters ; he has slain Ahi, he has pierced Rauhina, he 
has destroyed, by his prowess, the mutilated (Vritra). 

3. Armed with the thunderbolt, and confident 
in his strength, he has gone on destroying the cities 
of the Dasyus. Thunderer, acknowledging (the 
praises of thy worshipper), cast, for his sake, thy 
shaft against the Dasyu, and augment the strength 
aed glory of the Ary a. 

4. Maghavan, possessing a name that is to be 

glorified, offers to him who celebrates it, these 
(revolving) ages of man : the thunderer, the scatterer 
(of his foes), sallying forth to destroy the Dasyus, 
has obtained a name (renowned for victorious) 
prowess. • 

5. Behold this, the vast and extensive (might of 
Indra); have confidence in his prowess * he has 

162 Rig- veda Translation p. 15. ir 

recovered the chttle, he has recovered the horses, 
the plants, the Waters, the woods. 

6. We offer the Soma libation to him who is the 
performer of many exploits, the best (of the gods), 
the showerer (of benefits), the possessor of true 
strength, the hero who, holding respect for wealth, 
takes it from him who performs no sacrifice, like a 
foot-pad (from a traveller), and proceeds (to give it) 
to the sacrificer. 

7. « Thou^didst perform, Indra, a glorious deed,, 
when thou didst awaken the sleeping Ahi with thy 
thunderbolt ; then the wives (of the gods), the Maruts, 
and all the gods, imitated thy exultation. 

8. Inasmuch, Indra, as thou hast slain Shushna, 
Pipru, Kuyava, and Vritra, and destroyed the cities 
of Shambara, therefore may Mitra, Varuna. 
Aditi, — ocean, earth, and heaven, grant us that (which 
we desire). 

I. 15. 11 V W 

The Rishi, deity, and metre, as before. 

1 . The altar has been raised, Indra, for thy seal ; 
hasten to sit upon it as a neighing horse (hastens to 
his stable); slackening the reins, and letting thy 
coursers free, who, at the season of sacrifice, bear 
thee night and day. 

2. These persons have come to Indra (to solicit) 
his protection; may he quickly direct them on the 
way ; may the '•gods repress the wrath of the des- 
troyer, and bring to our solemnity the obviator of 

First MaIndala 


1. 15. 11] 

3. (The Asura), knowing the Wealth of others, 
carries it off of himself; present in the water, he 
carries off, of himself, the foam ; the two wives of 
Kuyava bathe with the water : may they be drowned 
in the depths of the Shipha river. 

4. The abiding-place of the vagrant (Kuyava) 

was concealed (in the midst) of the water: the hero 
increases with the waters formerly (carried off), and 
is renowned (throughout the world): the Anjasi, 

Kulishi and Virapatni rivers, pleasing him with fheir 
substance, sustain him with their waters. 

5. Since the track that leads to the dwelling of 
the Dasyu has been seen by us, as a cow knows the 
way to her stall, therefore do thou, Maghavan, 
(defend us) from his repeated violence; do not thou 
cast away as a libertine throws away wealth. 

6. Excite in us, Indra, veneration for the sun, 
tor the Waters, and for those who are worthy of the 
praise o'f living beings, as exempt from sin : injure 
not our offspring while yet in the womb, for our trust 
is in thy mighty power. 

7. Hence, Indra, I meditate on thee; on this 
(thy power) has our trust been placed : showerer 
(of benefits), direct us to great wealth; consign us 
not, thou who art invoked by many, to a destitute 
dwelling ; give, Indra, food and drink to the hungry. 

8. Harm us not, Indra, abandon us not ; deprive 
us not of the enjoyments that are dear to us ; injure 
not, affluent Shakra, our unborn offspring; harm 
not those who are capable (only of crawling) on their 

164 . Rig-veda Translation p. 15. 12 


9. Come into our presence; they have called 
thee, fond of the Soma juice ; it is prepared ; drink 
of it for thine exhilaration : vast of limb, distend thy 
stomach, and, when invoked, hear us, as a father 
(listens to the Words of his sons). 

I. 15. 12 

The hymn is addressed to the Vishvadevas , by Trita, or by 
Kutsa, on his behalf ; the metre is Pankti f except in the eighth 
vefse, where-TPis Mahabrihati Yavamadhya. 

1. The graceful-moving moon speeds along the 

middle region in the sky: bright golden rays 

(my eyes) behold not your abiding-place. Heaven 
and earth, be conscious of this (my affliction). 

2. Those who seek for wealth, obtain it: a wife 
enjoys (the presence of) her husband, and from their 
union progeny is engendered. Heaven and earth, 
be conscious of this (my affliction). 

3. Never, Gods, may this (my ancestry), abiding 
above in heaven, be excluded (from it); never may we 
be in want (of a son), the cause of joy (to his pro- 
genitors), entitled to libations of the Soma juice 
Heaven and earth, be conscious of this (my affliction)- 

4. I implore the first (of the gods), the object of 
sacrifice, that he will become my messenger, and 
narrate (my condition to the other deities). Where, 
Agni, is thy former benevolence, what new being 
now possesses it ? Heaven and earth, be conscious of 
this (my affliction). 

5. Gqdsr-Jvho are present in the three worlds, 
who abide in the light of the sun, where now is your 

First Mandala 


1. 15. 12] 

truth, where your untruth, where the ancient invo- 
cation (that X have addressed) to you ? Heaven and 
earth, be conscious of (my affliction). 

6. Where, deities, is your observance of the truth, 
where the (benignant) regard of Varuna, where is 
the path of the mighty Aryaman, (so that) we may 
overcome the malevolent ? Heaven and earth, be 
conscious of this (my affliction). 

7. I am he, Gods, who formerly recited (your 
praise) when the libation was poured out ; yet 
sorrows assail me, like a wolf (that falls upon) a 
thirsty deer. Heaven and earth, be conscious of 
this (my affliction). 

8. The ribs (of the well close) round me, like the 
rival wives (of one husband); cares consume me, 
Shatakratu, although thy worshipper, as a rat 
(gnaws a weaver’s) threads. Heaven and earth, be 
conscious of this (my affliction). 

9. Those which are the seven rays (of the sun), 
in them is my navel expanded ; Trita, the son of the 
waters, knows that (it is so), and he praises them for 
ltis extrication (from the well). Heaven and earth, 
be conscious of this (my affliction). 

10. May the five shedders (of benefits), who abide 
in the centre of the expanded heavens, having to- 
gether conveyed my prayers quickly to the gods, 
(speedily) return. Heaven and earth, be conscious 
of this (my affliction). * 

11. The rays of the sun abide in the surrounding 
centre of heaven; they drive back the 'wolf crossing 

166 Rig-veda Translation [T. 15. 12 

the great waters from the path. Heaven and earth, 
be conscious of this (my affliction). 

12. That new praiseworthy and commended 
(vigour) is seated in you, ye Gods, (by which) the 
rivers urge on the waters, and the sun diffuses his 
constant (light). Heaven and earth, be conscious 
of this (my affliction). 

13. Worthy of praise, Agni, is that thy relation- 
ship (with the gods); do thou, who art most wise, 
seated at our (solemnity), worship (the gods), as 
(at the sacrifice of) Manu. 

14. May that wise and liberal Agni, a sage 
amongst the gods, seated at our rite, as at the sacrifice 
of Manu, be the invoker of the deities, and offer 
them oblations. Heaven and earth, be conscious 
of this (my affliction). 

15. Varuna performs the rite of preservation; 
we desire him as the guide of our way; (to him, 
the repeater of praise) addresses praise with his 
(whole) heart; may he who is entitled to laudation 
become our true (support). Heaven and earth, 
be conscious of this (my affliction). 

16. The sun, who is avowedly made the path in 
heaven, is not to be disregarded, Gods, by you; but 
you, mortals, regard him not. Heaven and earth,, 
be conscious of this (my affliction). 

17. Trita, fallen into the well, invokes the Gods 
for succour; Brihaspati, who liberates many from 
sin, heard (the supplication). Heaven and earth 
be conscious «of this (my affliction). 


I. 16. 1] First Mandala > 


18. Once, a tawny wolf beheld me faring on my 
Way, and, having seen me, rushed upon me, (rearing), 
as a carpenter, whose back aches (with stooping,, 
stands erect from his work). 

19. By this recitation, may we, becoming possessed 
of Indra, and strong with multiplied progeny, over- 
come our foes in battle; and may Mitra, Varuna,. 
Aditi, — ocean, earth, and heaven, be gracious to us 
in this (request). 


I. 16. 1 

The Rishi is Kutsa, or it may be Trita ; the hymn is 
addressed to all the gods ; the metre is Jagati, except in the last, 
verse, in which it is Trishtubh . 

1. We invoke, for our preservation, Indra, 
Mitra, Varuna, Agni, the might of the Maruts, 
and Aditi; may they, who are bountiful and bestow- 
ers of dwellings, extricate us from all sin, as a chariot 
from a defile. 

2. Sons of Aditi, come with all (your hosts) to 
battle ; be to us the cause of happiness in combats, 
and may they, who are bountiful and bestowers of 
dwellings, extricate us from all sin, as a chariot from 
a defile. 

3. May the Pitris, who are easily to be praised, 
protect us; and may the two divinities, heaven and 
earth, the promoters of sacrifices, and of whom, the 
gods are the progeny, protect us ; and may they, who 
are bountiful and the givers of dwellings, extricate 
us from sin, as a chariot from a defile. 

168 Ri^-veda Translation £1. 16. 2 

4. Exciting him who is the praised of men and 
the giver of food, (to be present) at this rite, we solicit 
(also) with our praises him who is the purifier and 
destroyer of heroes; may they, who are bountiful 
and the givers of food, extricate us from sin, as a 
chariot from a defile. 

5. Brihaspati, always confer happiness upon us; 
we solicit that faculty of both (alleviating pain and 
obviating peril) implanted in thee by Manu: may 
they, who are bountiful and the givers of dwellings 
extricate us from all sins, as a chariot from a defile. 

6. Kutsa, the Rishi, thrown into a well, has 
invoked to his succour, Indra, the slayer of enemies, 
the encourager of good works : may they, who are 
bountiful and the givers of dwellings, extricate us 
from all sin, as a chariot from a defile. 

7. May the goddess Aditi, with the gods, protect 
us, and may the radiant guardian, (the sun), be 
Vigilant for our protection; and may they, who are 
bountiful and the givers of dwellings, extricate us 
from all sin, as a chariot from a defile. 

I. 16. 2 

The Rishi is Kutsa ; the deities, all the gods ; the metre, 
Trishtuhh . 

1. May our sacrifice give satisfaction to the gods : 
Adityas, be gracious, and may your good intentions 
be directed towards us, so as to be an abundant 
source of affliction to the poor. 

2. May thS* gods, who are to be lauded by the 
hymns of the Angirasas, come hither for our 

I. 16. 3] First Mandal^. 169 

protection; may Indra with his treasurers, the 
Maruts with the vital airs, and Aditi with the 
Adityas, (come and) give us felicity. 

3. May Indra, may Varuna, may Agni, may 
Aryaman, may Savitri, bestow upon us that food, 
(which we solicit) ; and may Mitra, Varuna, Aditi, — 
ocean, earth, and heaven, preserve it (to us). 

I. 16. 3 

The Rishi is still Kutsa, who addresses Indra and Agni ; the 
metre is Trishtubh. 

1. Indra and Agni, sitting together in your car, — 
that wonderful car which illuminates all beings, 
approach, and drink of the effused Soma juice. 

2. Vast as is the whole universe in expanse, and 
profound in depth, such, Indra and Agni, may this 
Soma be for your beverage, sufficient for your desires. 

3. You have made your associated names re- 
nowned, since, slayers of Vritra, you have been 
allied (for his death); the showerers of benefits, 
Indra and Agni, are the two seated together (on 
the altar) ; receive (your portion) of the libation. 

4. The fires being kindled ,the two (priests stand by) 

sprinkling the clarified butter from the ladles, which 
they raise, and spreading the sacred grass (upon the 
altar); therefore, Indra and Agni, come before us 
for our gratification, (attracted) by stimulating Soma 
juices sprinkled all round. • 

5. Whatever heroic exploits you have achieved, 
whatever forms (you have created), whatever benefits 

170 Ric.-veda Translation [1. 16. 3 

(you have poured down), whatever ancient and 
fortunate friendships (you have contracted, come 
with them all), and drink of the effused Soma juice. 

6. Come and witness the sincere faith with which, 
selecting you two, I first promised (you the libation); 
drink of the effused libation, for the Soma juice is 
prepared by the priests. 

7. If, adorable Indra and Agni, you have ever 
been delighted (with libations) in your own dwelling, 
in that of a Brahman, or in that of a prince, then, 
showerers of benefits, come hither from wherever 
you may be, and drink of the effused libation. 

8. If, Indra and Agni, you are amongst men who 
are inoffensive, malevolent, or tyrannical, or those 
who live (to fulfil the duties of life), or those who 
receive the fruits (of good deeds), then, showerers of 
benefits, come hither from wherever you may be, 
and drink of the effused libation. 

9. Whether, Indra and Agni, you are in the 
lower, the central, or the upper region of the world, 
showerers of benefits, come hither from wherever 
you may be, and drink of the effused libation. 

10. Whether, Indra and Agni, you are in the 
tipper, central, or lower region of the world, come, 
showerers of benefits, hither from wherever you 
may be, and drink of the effused libation. 

11. Whether, Indra and Agni, you are in heaven 
or upon earth, in the mountains, in the herbs, or in 
the waters, showerers of benefits, come hither from 
wherever you. may be, and drink of the effused 

I. 16. 4] 

First Mandala 



12. Although, Indra and AgniJ in the midst of 
the sky, on the rising of the sun, you may be exhila- 
rated by your own splendour, yet, showerers of bene- 
fits, come hither from wherever you may be, and drink 
of the effused libation. 

13. Thus, Indra and Agni, drinking deep of the 
libation, grant to us all (kinds of) wealth ; and may 
Mitra, Varuna, and Aditi, — ocean, earth, and 
heaven, preserve it to us. 

I. 16. 4 

Rishi , deities, and metre, as in the last. 

1 . Indra and Agni, desirous of wealth, I consider 
you, in my mind, as kinsmen and relations ; the 
clear understanding you have given me, (is given) 
by no one else, and, (so gifted), I have composed this 
hymn to you, intimating my wish for sustenance. 

2. I have heard, Indra and Agni, that you are 
more munificent givers than an unworthy bridegroom, 
or the brother of a bride; therefore, as I offer you 
a libation, I address you, Indra and Agni, with a 
new hymn. 

3. Never may we cut off the long line (of poste- 
rity); thus soliciting and asking for descendants 
endowed with the vigour of their progenitors, the 
(worshippers), begetting children, praise Indra and 
Agni for their happiness, and they two, destroyers 
of foes, are nigh (to hear this adopation). 

4. The sacred prayer, desiring your presence, 
offers to you both, Indra. and Agni, for your exhila- 

172 Rig- veda Translation [1. 16. 5 


ration, the Somk libation : do you two, who have 
horses, handsome arms, and graceful hands, come 
quickly and mix (the libation) with sweetness in the 

5. I have heard, (when you were present) at the 
division of the treasure (among the worshippers), 
that you two, Indra and Agni, were most vigorous 
in the destruction of Vritra: beholders of all things, 
seated as this sacrifice upon the sacred grass, be 
exhilarated, (by drinking of the effused libation). 

6. Attending to the summons at the time of 
battle, you surpass all men (in magnitude): you are 
vaster than the earth, than the sky, than the rivers, 
than the mountains; you exceed all other existent 

7. Bring wealth, thunderers, and give it to us ; 
protect us, Indra and Agni, by your deeds; may 
those rays of the sun, by which our forefathers have 
attained together a heavenly region, shine also upon us. 

8. Indra and Agni, wielders of the thunderbolt, 
overturners of cities, grant us wealth, defend us in 
battles; and may Mitra, Varuna, Aditi, — ocean, 
earth, and heaven, be propitious to this (our prayer). 

I. 16. 5 

This hymn is addressed to the Ribhus ; the Rishi is Kutsa : 
the fifth and ninth stanzas are in the Trishtubh, the rest in the 
Jagati metre. 

1. Ribhus, the rite formerly celebrated by me is 
again repeated, and the melodious hymn is recited 
in your prajse* in this ceremony, the Soma juice is 

I. 16. 5] First Mandala 173 

sufficient for all the gods; drink of^t to your utmost 
content when offered on the fire. 

2. When, Ribhus, you who were amongst my 
ancestors, yet immature (in wisdom), but desirous of 
enjoying (the Soma libations), retired to the forest to 
perform (penance), then, sons of Sudhanwan, through 
the plenitude of your completed (devotions), you came 
to the (sacrificial) hall of the worshipper Savitri. 

3. Then Savitri bestowed upon you immortality, 
when you came to him, who is not to be concealed, 
and represented (your desire) to partake of the liba- 
tions; and that ladle for the sacrificial viands which 
the As ura had formed single, you made fourfold. 

4. Associated with the priests, and quickly per- 
forming the holy rites, they, being yet mortals, 
acquired immortality and the sons of Sudhanwan, 
the Ribhus, brilliant as the sun, became connected 
with the ceremonies (appropriated to the different 
seasons) of the year. 

5. Lauded by the bystanders, the Ribhus, with 
a sharp weapon, meted out the single sacrificial ladle, 
like a field (measured by a rod), soliciting the best 
(libations), and desiring (to participate of) sacrificial 
food amongst the gods. 

6. To the leaders (of the sacrifice), dwelling in the 
firmament, we present, as with a ladle, the appointed 
clarified butter, and praise with knowledge those 
Ribhus, who, having equalled the velocity of the 
protector (of the universe, the sun), ascended to the 
region of heaven, through (the offerings) of (sacrificial) 

174 Rig-veda Translation [1. 16. 6- 

7. The most Excellent Ribhu is in strength our 
defender; Ribhu, through gifts of food and of wealth, . 
is our asylum; may he bestow them upon us, Gods, 
through your protection; may we, upon a favourable 
occasion, overcome the hosts of those who offer no 

8. Ribhus, you covered the cow with a hide, and 
reunited the mother with the calf : sons of Sudhan- 
WAN, leaders (of sacrifice), through your good Works 
you rendered your aged parents young. 

9. « Indra, associated with the Ribhus, supply us,, 
in the distribution of viands, with food, and consent 
to bestow upon us wonderful riches ; and may 
Mitra, Varuna, Ajditi, — ocean, earth, and. heaven,, 
preserve them for us. 

I. 16. 6 

The Rishi and deities are the same ; the metre of the fifth 
verse is Trishtubh. 

1. The Ribhus, possessed of skill in their work, 
constructed (for the Ashwins) a well-built car; they 
framed the vigorous horses bearing Indra ; they gave 
youthful existence to their parents; they gave to the 
calf its accompanying mother. 

2. Prepare fully for our sacrifice resplendent 
sacrificial food, and, for our rite and for our strength, 
such nutriment as may be the cause of excellent 
progeny, so that we may live (surrounded) by vigorous 
descendants; v such wealth do you confer upon us 
for our benefit. 

1. 16. 7] First Mandala 175 

3. Ribhus, conductors (of sacrific^), bestow ample 
sustenance upon us, upon our chariots, upon our 
horses; let every one daily acknowledge our victo- 
rious wealth, and may we triumph in battle over our 
foes, whether strangers or kinsmen. 

4. I invoke the mighty Indra for protection, and 
the Ribhus, Vajas, and Maruts to drink the Soma 
juice; also both Mitra, Varuna, and the Ashwins;; 
and may they direct us to opulence, to holy rites, 
and to victory. 

5. May Ribhu supply us with wealth for vftar; 
may Vaja, victorious in battle, protect us, and may 
Mitra, Varuna, Aditi, — ocean, earth, and heaven, 
be propitious to this our prayer. 

I. 16. 7 

The Rishi is Kutsa ; the first quarter-slanza is addressed to 
the Earth and Sky, the second to Agni, the rest of the hymn to 
the Ashwins. The metre of the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth 
stanzas is Trishtubh, of the rest, J i. 

1. I praise Heaven and Earth for preliminary 
meditation, (prior to the coming of the Ashwins); 
I praise the hot and bright-shining Agni upon their 
approach, (as preparatory) to their worship: with 
those appliances with which you sound the conch 
shell in battle for your share (in the booty), with 
those aids, Ashwins, come willingly hither. 

2. Earnest and exclusive adorers stand, Ashwins, 
round your car, (to benefit) by your bounty, as 
(disciples listen) to the words (of* a 'teacher) for 
instruction: with those aids with which you defend 

176 Rig-veda Translation [1. 16 . 7 


the pious who aVe engaged in acts of worship, come, 
Ashwins, willingly hither. 

3. By the vigour infused from celestial nectar, 
70 U are able, leaders (of sacrifice), to rule over those 
beings (who people the three worlds): with those 
aids by which you gave (milk) to the barren cow, 
•come, Ashwins, willingly hither. 

4. With those aids by which the circumambient 
(wind), endowed with the Vigour of his son, the 
measurer of the two worlds (of heaven and earth), 
and swiftest “of the swift, beautifies (all things), and 
by which (Kakshivat) became learned in the three 
kinds of sacrifice; with them come, Ashwins, 
willingly hither. 

5. With those aids by which you raised up from 
the water, Rebha, who had been cast bound (into a 
Well), and also Vandana (similarly circumstanced), 
to behold the sky ; by which you protected Kanwa, 
when longing to see the light; with them, Ashwins, 
come willingly hither. 

6 . With those aids by which you rescued Antaka, 
(when cast into) a deep (pool), and about to be 
•destroyed; by which, inflicting no distress, you 
preserved Bhujyu, and by which you relieved 
Karkandhu and Vayya ; with them, Ashwins, come 
willingly hither. 

7. With those aids by which you enriched Shu- 
•CHAnti, and gave him a handsome habitation, and 
rendered the scorching heat pleasurable to Atri, and 
by which yob preserved Prishnigu and Purukutsa; 
with them, Ashwins, come willingly hither. 

I. 16. 7] First Mandala ^ 177 

8. Showerers (of benefits), with those aids by 
which you enabled (the lame) Paravrij (to walk), 
the blind (Rijrashwa) to see, and (the cripple) 
Shrona to go, and by which you set free the quail 
when seized (by a wolf); with those aids, Ashwins,. 
come willingly hither. 

9. With those aids by which you caused the sweet 
stream to flow, by which you, who are exempt from 
decay, gratified Vasishtha, and by which you pro- 
tected Kutsa, Shrutarya, and Narya* with thtem, 
Ashwins, come willingly hither. 

10. With those aids by which you enabled the 
opulent Vishpala, when she was unable to move, 
to go to the battle rich in a thousand spoils, and by 
which you protected the devout Vasha, the son of 
Ashwa ; with them, Ashwins, come willingly hither. 

11. With those aids by which, beauteous donors, 
the cloud (was made to) shed its sweet (water), for 
the sake* of the merchant Dirghashravas, the son of 
Ushij, and by which you protected the devout 
Kakshivat; with them, Ashwins, come willingly 

12. With those aids by which you filled the (dry) 
river-bed with water, by Which you drove the chariot, 
without horses, to victory, and by which Trishoka 
recovered his (stolen) cattle; with them, Ashwins, 
come willingly hither. 

13. With those aids by which you encompassed 
the sun, when afar off, (to extricate him from eclipse); 
by which you defended Mandhatri in (the discharge 
of) his sovereign functions, and by Which you 

178 Rro-VEDA Translation [I. 16. 7 


protected the sage Bharadwaja; with them, Ashwins, 
come willingly hither. 

14. With those aids by which you defended the 
mighty and hospitable Divodasa, (when, having 
undertaken) the death of Shambara, he hid himself 
in the Water, (through fear of the Asuras ); by which 
you protected Trasadasyu in war; with them, 
Ashwins, come willingly hither. 

15. With those aids by which you preserved 
VAmra, praised by all around him, when drinking 
(the dews of the earth); by which you protected 
Kali when he had taken a wife, and Prithi, when he 
had lost his horse; with them, Ashwins, come 
willingly hither. 

16. With those aids, leaders (of sacrifices), which 
you afforded to Shayu, to Atri, and formerly to' 
Manu, anxious (to show them) the way (to escape 
from evil); with those by which you shot arrows 
(upon the foes) of Syumarashmi; with them, 
Ashwins, willingly come hither. 

17. With those aids by which Patharvan shone 
with strength of form in battle, like a blazing fire 
piled up (with fuel) ; by which you defended Sharyata 
in war; with them, Ashwins, come willingly hither. 

18. Angiras, (praise the Ashwins): Ashwins, 
with those aids by which, with (gratified) minds, 
you delight (in praise), and thence preceded the gods 
to the cavern, to recover the stolen cattle ; by which 
you sustained ‘the heroic Manu with food ; with 
them, Ashwins, come willingly hither. 

First Mandala 


I. 16. 7] 

19. With those aids by which you gave a wife to 
Vimada, by which you recovered the ruddy kine, 
by which you conferred excellent wealth upon Sudas ; 
with them, Ashwins, come willingly hither. 

20. With those aids by which you are bestowers of' 

happiness upon the donor (of oblations), by which you 
have protected Bhujyu and Adhrigu, and by which 
you have granted delighting and nourishing (food) 
to Ritastubh; with them, Ashwins, come willingly 
hither. , » 

21. With those aids by which you defended 
Krishanu in battle, with which you succoured the 
horse of the young Purukutsa in speed, and by 
which you deliver the pleasant honey to the bees;; 
with them, Ashwins, come willingly hither. 

22. With those aids by which you succoured the 
worshipper contending in War for cattle, by which 
you assist him in the acquisition of houses and wealth, 
by which you preserve his chariots and horses ; with 
them, Ashwins, come willingly hither. 

23. With those aids by which you, who are wor- 
shipped in many rites, protected Kutsa, the son of 
Arjuna, as well as Turviti, Dhabhiti, Dhwasanti,. 
and Purushanti; with them, Ashwins, come 
willingly hither. 

24. Ashwins, sanctify our words with works ; 

showerers (of benefits), subduers of foes, (invigorate)- 
our understanding (for the sacred study) ; we invoke 
you both, in the last Watch of the night,, for our pre- 
servation; be to us for increase in the provision of 
food. * > 

380 Rig-veda Translation [I. 16. 8 


25. Cherish us, Ashwins, always, by night or 
day, with undiminished blessings; and may Mitra, 
Varuna, Aditi, — ocean, earth, and heaven, be 
favourable to this our (prayer). 

I. 16. 8 

The hymn is addressed to Ushas (the dawn), and in the 
second half of the three first stanzas also to Night . The Rishi is 
Kutsa, the metre Trishtubh. 

1. ' This most excellent luminary of all luminaries 
has arrived : the wonderful and diffusive manifester 
(of all things) has been born ; in like manner as night 
is the offspring of the sun, so she becomes the birth- 
place of the dawn. 

2. The white-shining dawn, the parent of the 

sun, has arrived; dark night has sought her own 
abode: both allied to the same (sun), immortal, 

succeeding to each other, and mutually effacing each 
other’s complexion, they traverse the heavens. 

3. The path of the sisters is unending ; they 
travel it alternately, guided by the radiant (sun); 
combined in purpose, though of different forms, 
night and dawn, giving birth (to all things), obstruct 
not each other, neither do they stand still. 

4. Brilliant guide of the speakers of truth, the 
many-tinted dawn, is recognized by us; she has 
•opened our doors; having illuminated the world, 
she has made our riches manifest. Ushas gives back 
all the regions (that had been swallowed up by night). 

5. The opulent (dawn) arouses to exertion the 
man bowed down in sleep, — one man to enjoyments. 


1. 16. 8] First Mandala j 

another to devotion, another to (the acquirement of) 
wealth ; she has enabled those who were almost 
sightless to see distinctly. The expansive Ushas 
has given back all the regions. 

6. The dawn rouses one man to acquire wealth,, 
another to earn food, another to achieve greatness,, 
another to sacrifices, another to his own (pursuits), 
another to activity, and lights all men to their various 
means of maintaining life. Ushas has given back all 
the regions. 

7. The daughter of heaven, young, white-robed, 
the mistress of all earthly treasure, is beheld dissi- 
pating the darkness. Auspicious Ushas, shine upon 
us to-day in this (hall of sacrifice). 

8. Following the path of the mornings that have 
passed, and first of the endless mornings that are to 
come, Ushas, the disperser of darkness, arouses living 
beings, and awakens every one (that lay) as dead. 

9. Ushas, inasmuch as thou hast caused the sacred 
fire to be kindled, inasmuch as thou hast lighted the 
world with the light of the sun, inasmuch as thou 
hast wakened men to perform sacrifice, thou hast 
done good service to the gods. 

10. For how long a period is it that the dawns 
have risen ? for how long a period will they rise ? 
still desirous to bring us light, Ushas pursues the 
functions of those that have gone before, and, shining 
brightly, proceeds with the others (that are to follow). 

11. Those mortals who beheld the pristine Ushas 
dawning have passed away ; to us she is now visible, 
and they approach who may behold her in after-times. 

182 Rio-vEDA Translation [1.16.8 

12. The beings hostile (to acts of devotion) now 
withdraw, for she is the protectress of sacred rites, 
who is manifested for their performance; she is the 
giver of happiness, the awakener of pleasant voices, 
the enjoyer of felicity, and provider of food for the 
gods : most excellent Ushas, dawn to-day on this 
{sacrificial hall). 

13. The divine Ushas dawned continually in 
forxper times ; the source of wealth, she still rises 
on this (world); so will she give light hereafter, 
through future days, for, exempt from decay or 
death, she goes on in her splendour. 

14. The divine Ushas lights up with her beams 
the quarters of the heavens ; she has thrown off her 
gloomy form, and, awaking (those who sleep), 
comes in her car, drawn by purple steeds. 

15. Bringing with her life-sustaining blessings, 
and giving consciousness (to the unconscious), she 
imparts (to the world) her wonderful radiance. The 
similitude of the numerous dawns that have gone by, 
the first of the brilliant (dawns that are to come), 
Ushas has to-day appeared. 

16. Arise; inspiring life revives; darkness has 
departed; light approaches. Ushas has opened the 
road for the sun to travel : let us repair to where they 
distribute food. 

17. The offerer of praise, the reciter of praise, 
celebrating the brilliant -Ushas as, repeats the well- 
connected words (of the Veda). Possessor of affluence, 
dawn to-dqy*upon him who praiseth thee; bestow 
upon us food, whence progeny may be obtained. 

I. 16. 9] 

First Mandala/ 


18. May he who has offered the libation obtain, 
upon the conclusion of his praises, (enunciated), 
life the wind, (with speed), (the favour of) those 
Ushasas who are givers of horses, and of cattle, 
and of progeny, and who shed light upon the mortal 
presenting to them (offerings). 

19. Mother of the gods, rival of Aditi, illumi- 
nator of the sacrifice, mighty Ushas, shine forth; 
approving of our prayer, dawn upon us. Do .thou, 
who art cherished by all, make us eminent among the 

20. Whatever valuable wealth the Ushasas convey, 
is beneficial to the sacrificer and to the praiser. May 
Mitra, Varuna, Aditi, — ocean, earth, and heaven, 
be favourable to this our prayer. 

I. 16. 9 


The deity is Rudra, the Rishi Kutsa ; the tenth and eleventh 
verses are in the Trishtubh metre, the rest in the Jagati. 

1. We offer these praises to the mighty Rudra, 
with the braided hair, the destroyer of heroes, in 
order that health may be enjoyed by bipeds and 
quadrupeds, and that all beings in this village may 
be (well) nourished and exempt from disease. 

2. Be gracious to us, Rudra ; grant us happiness, 
for we worship the destroyer of heroes with obla- 
tions ; and, by thy directions, Rudra, may we obtain 
that freedom from disease and exemption from dangers 
which our progenitor, Manu, bestowed upon us, 
(having obtained them from the gods). 

184 RIg-veda Translation [1. 16 . 9 

3. Rudra, showerer (of benefits), may we obtain, 
through our worship of the gods, the favour of thee, 
who art the destroyer of heroes : come to our poste- 
rity, purposing to promote their happiness, while 
we, having our sons in safety, offer thee oblations. 

4. We invoke for our preservation the illustrious 
Rudra, the accomplisher of sacrifices, the tortuous,, 
the wise; may he remove far from us his celestial 
wrath, for we earnestly solicit his favour. 

5. We invoke, from heaven, with reverence, him 
who has excellent food, who is radiant, and has 
braided hair, who is brilliant, and is to be ascertained 
(by sacred study), holding in his hands excellent 
medicaments: may he grant us health, defensive 
armour, and a (secure) dwelling. 

6. This praise, the sweetest of the sweet, and cause 
of increase (to the reciter), is addressed to Rudra, 
the father of the Maruts: immortal Rudra, grant 
us food sufficient for mortals, and bestow happiness 
on me, my son, and my grandson. 

7. Injure not, Rudra, those amongst us who are 
old or young, who are capable of begetting, or who 
are begotten, nor a father, nor a mother, nor afflict 
our precious persons. 

8. Harm us not, Rudra, in our sons or grand- 
sons, or other male descendants, nor in our cattle, 
nor in our horses; inflamed with anger, kill not our 
valiant men, for we, presenting clarified butter, 
perpetually invoke thee. 

9. I restore to thee the praises (derived from 
thee), as a shepherd (returns his sheep to their owner) ; 

First Mandala 


I. 16. 10] 


father of the Maruts, bestow happiness upon me; 
thy auspicious benignity is the cause of successive 
delight, therefore we especially solicit thy protection. 

10. Destroyer of heroes, may thy coWTkilling or 
man-slaying (weapon) be far away, and let the felicity 
granted by thee be ours ; favour us ; speak, brilliant 
hero, in our behalf, and grant us, thou who art 
mighty over the two (realms of heaven and eaith), 

11. Desirous of protection, we have said: rever- 
ence be to him; may Rudra, with the Maruts, 
hear our invocation; and may Mitra, Varuna, 
Aditi, — ocean, earth, and heaven, be favourable to 
this (our prayer). 

I. 16. 10 

Kutsa is the Rishi ; the deity is Surya, the metre Trishtubh . 

1. The wonderful host of rays has risen; the eye 
of Mitra, Varuna and Agni; the sun, the soul of 
all that moves or is immoveable, has filled (with 
his glory) the heaven, the earth, and the firmament. 

2. The sun follows the divine and brilliant Ushas, 
as a man (follows a young and elegant) woman ; at 
which season, pious men perform (the ceremonies 
established for) ages, worshipping the auspicious (sun), 
for the sake of good (reward). 

3. The auspicious, swift horses of the sun, well- 

limbed, road-traversing, who merit to be pleased with 
praise, reverenced by us, have ascended to the summit 
of the sky, and quickly circumambulate earth and 
heaven. * < 


Rig-veda Translation 

p. 17. r 

4. Such is the divinity, such is the majesty of 
the sun, that when he has set, he has withdrawn 
(into himself) the diffused (light which had been shed)' 
upon the unfinished task; when he has unyoked 
his coursers from his car, then night extends the 
veiling darkness over all. 

5. The sun, in the sight of Mitra and Varuna, 
displays his form (of brightness) in the middle of the 
heavens, and his rays extend, on one hand, his infinite 
and* brilliant . power, or, on the other, (by their 
departure), bring on the blackness of night. 

6. This day, gods, with the rising of the sun, 
deliver us from heinous sin ; and may Mitra, Varuna,. 
Aditi, — ocean, earth, and heaven, be favourable to 
this (our prayer). 


1. 17. i y 

The deities are the Ashwins ; the Rishi is Kakshivat : the 
metre is Trishtubh. 

1. In like manner as a worshipper strews the 
sacred grass for the Nasatyas, so do I urge on their 
laudations, as the wind drives on the clouds : they, 
who gave a bride to the youthful Vimada, and bore 
her away in their car, outstripping the rival host. 

2. Nasatyas, borne by strong and rapid (steeds) 
and (urged) by the encouragements of the gods, the 
ass of you, thus instigated, overcame a thousand 
(enemies) in conflict, in the war grateful to Yama. 

3. TugrAj verily, Ashwins, sent (his son) Bhujyu 
to sea, as 5- a dying man parts with his riches; but 

I. 17. 1] First Mandala 187 

you brought him back in vessels of your own, floating 
over the ocean, and keeping out the waters. 

4. Three nights, and three days, Nasatyas, have 
you conveyed Bhujyu in three rapid, revolving cars, 
having a hundred wheels, and drawn by six horses, 
along the dry bed of the ocean to the shore of 
the sea. 

5. This exploit you achieved, Ashwins, in the 
ocean, where there is nothing to give support, nothing 
to rest upon, nothing to cling to, that you brought 
Bhujyu, sailing in a hundred-oared ship, to his 
father’s house. 

6. Ashwins, the white horse you gave to Pedu, 
Whose horses were indestructible. Was ever to him 
success; that, your precious gift, is always to be 
celebrated; the horse of Pedu, the scatterer (of 
enemies), is always to be invoked. 

7. You gave, leaders (of sacrifice), to Kakshivat, 
of the race of Pajra, various knowledge; you filled 
from the hoof of your vigorous steed, as if from a 
cask, a hundred jars of wine. 

8. You quenched with cold (water) the blazing 
flames (that encompassed Atri), and supplied him 
with food-supported strength; you extricated him, 
Ashwins, from the dark (cavern) into which he had 
been thrown headlong, and restored him to every 
kind of welfare. 

9. Nasatyas, you raised up the Well, and made 
the base, which had been turned upwards, the curved 
mouth, so that the water issued for the beverage of 
the thirsty Gotama, the offerer. * < 

188 Rig-veda Translation [I. 17. 1 

10. Nasatyas, you stripped off from the aged 
Chyavana his entire skin, as if it had been a coat of 
mail ; you reversed, Dasras, the life of the sage who 
was without kindred, and constituted him the husband 
of many maidens. 

11. Nasatyas, leaders, glorious was that exploit 
of yours, one to be celebrated, to be adored, to be 
desired by us, when, becoming aware (of the circum- 
stance), you extricated Vandana, (hidden), like a 
concealed treasure, from the (well) that was visible 
(to travellers). 

12. I proclaim, leaders (of sacrifice), for the sake 
of acquiring wealth, that inimitable deed which you 
performed, as the thunder (announces) rain, when, 
provided by you with the head of a horse, Dadhyanch, 
the son of Atharvan, taught you the mystic science. 

13. The intelligent (Vadhrimati) invoked you. 
Nasatyas, who are the accomplishers (of desires) 
and the protectors of many, with a sacred hymn; 
her prayer was heard, like (the instruction of) a 
teacher, and you, Ashwins, gave to the wife of an 
impotent husband, Hiranyahasta, her son. 

14. Nasatyas, leaders, you liberated the quail 
from the mouth of the dog that had seized her, and 
you, who are benefactors of many, have granted to 
the sage who praises you, to behold (true wisdom). 

15. The foot of (Vispala, the wife of) Khela, 
was cut off, like the wing of a bird, in an engagement 
by night; immediately you gave her an iron leg, 
that she might walk, the hidden treasure (of the 
enemy being f.he object of the conflict). 

1. 17. 1] First Mandala* 189 

16. When his father caused Rijrashwa, as he was 
giving to a she-wolf a hundred sheep cut up in pieces, 
to become blind, you, Dasras, physicians (of the 
gods), gave him eyes (that had been) unable to 
find their way, with which he might see. 

17. The daughter of the sun ascended your car, 
(like a runner) to a goal: when you won (the race) 
with your swift horse, all the gods looked on with 
(anxious hearts), and you, Nasatyas, were asso- 
ciated with glory. 

18. When, Ashwins, being invited, you went to 
his dwelling, (to give due rewards) to Divodasa, 
offering oblations, then your helping chariot conveyed 
(food and) treasure, and the bull and the porpoise 
were yoked together. 

19. Nasatyas, bearing strength and wealth with 
posterity and vigour-sustaining food, you came, 
with one intention, to the family of Jahnu, (provided) 
with (sacrificial) Viands, and possessing a third 
portion of the daily (offerings). 

20. Undecaying Nasatyas, you bore away by 
night, in your foe-overwhelming car, Jahusha, sur- 
rounded on every side by (enemies), through practi- 
cable roads, and Went to (inaccessible) mountains. 

21. You preserved Vasha, Ashwins, (that he 
might obtain) in a single day a thousand acceptable 
gifts ; showerers (of benefits), associated with Indra, 
you destroyed the malignant enemies of Prithu- 

22. You raised the water from the bottom to 
the top of the well, for the drinking oI^Shara, the 

190 . Ri j-veda Translation [1.17.2 

son of Richatka, and by your powers, Nasatyas, 
you filled, for the sake of the weary Shayu, the 
barren cow (with milk). 

23. Nasatyas, by your acts you restored to 
Vishwaka, the son of Krishna, soliciting your 
protection, adoring you, and a lover of rectitude, 
his son Vishnapu, (welcome) to his sight as an animal 
that had been lost. 

24 t Ashwins, you raised up, like Soma in a ladle, 
Rebha, who for ten nights and nine days had lain 
{in a well), bound with tight bonds, wounded, 
immersed, and suffering distress from the water. 

25. Thus, Ashwins, have I declared your exploits ; 
may I become the master (of this place), having 
abundant cattle and a numerous progeny, and re- 
taining my sight, and enjoying a long life: may I 
enter into old age, as (a master enters) his house. 

I. 17. 2 

Deities, Rishi, and metre as before. 

1. Ashwins, for your gratification by the pleasant 
Soma juice, your ancient worshipper adores you: 
the offering is poured upon the sacred grass, the 
hymn is ready (for repetition); come, Nasatyas, with 
food and with vigour. 

2. With that car, Ashwins, which, rapid as 
thought, drawn by good horses, appears before men, 
and with which you repair to the dwelling of the 
virtuous, come, leaders of (sacrifices), to our abode. 

3. You liberated, leaders (of rites), the sage Atri, 
who was venerated by the five classes of men, from 

First Mandala/ 


T. 17. 2] 

the wicked prisdn, together with his troop (of 
children), destroying his enemies and baffling, shower- 
ers (of benefits), the devices of the malignant Dasyus. 

4. Leaders (of sacrifice), showerers (of benefits), 
you restored Rebha, cast by unassailable (enemies) 
into the water, and wounded, like a (sick) horse, by 
your (healing) skill: your ancient exploits do not 
fade (from recollection). 

5. You extricated, Dasras, the sage (VANpANA, 
oast into a well, like a handsome and splendid orna- 
ment designed for embellishment, and (lying), 
Ashwins, like one sleeping on the lap of the earth, 
or like the sun disappearing in darkness. 

6. That (exploit) of yours, leaders (of sacrifice/, 
is to be celebrated, Nasatyas, by Kakshivat, of 
the race of Pajra, when you filled for the (expectant) 
man a hundred vases of sweet (liquors) from the 
hoof of your fleet horse. 

7. You restored, leaders (of sacrifices), Vishnapu 
(his lost son) to Vishwaka, the son of Krishna, 
when he praised you ; you bestowed, Ashwins, a 
husband upon Ghosha, growing old and tarrying 
in her father’s dwelling. 

8. You gave, Ashwins, a lovely bride to Shyava ; 
you gave sight to Kanwa, unable to see his way; 
showerers (of benefits), the deed is to be glorified 
by which you gave hearing to the son of Nrishad. 

9. Ashwins, who assume many forms, you gave 
to Pedu a swift horse, the bringer of a thousand 
(treasures), powerful, irresistible, tha destroyer of 
foes, the object of praise, the bearer (oW dangers). 

192 Rig-veda Translation (T. 17. 2 

10. Liberal givers, these your Exploits are to be 
celebrated, and the resounding prayer propitiates 
you while abiding in heaven and earth; when the 
descendants of Pajra invite you, Ashwins, come 
with food, and grant strength to the sage (who 
worships you). 

11. Ashwins, glorified by the praises of the son 
(of the jar), and giving food, nourishers (of men), 
to tfye sage (BharadwajaI, exalted by Agastya 
with prayer, you restored Nasatyas, Vishpala. 

12. Whither were you going, sons of heaven, 
showerers (of benefits), when, on your way to the 
dwelling of Kavya, (to receive his) adoration, you 
raised up (Rebha), Ashwins, on the tenth day, like 
a buried vessel full of gold ? 

13. You rendered, by your power, Ashwins, the 
aged Chyavana again young: the daughter of the 
sun, Nasatyas, invested your chariot with beauty. 

14. Dissipators of affliction, as you Were praised 
With former praises by Tugra, so were you again 
adored (by him), when you brought Bhujya safe 
from the tossing ocean with swift ships and rapid 

15. The sun of Tugra, brought back by you, 
Ashwins, (to his father), glorified you when he had 
crossed the ocean in safety, and you bore him, 
showerers (of benefits), with your well-harnessed car, 
swift as thought, to safety. 

16. The quail glorified you, Ashwins, when you 
saved her from? the mouth of the wolf; you carried off 
(Jahusha) the top of the mountain in your trium- 

First Mandala 


1. 17.2] 

phant chariot; and slew the son of Vishwanch 
with a poisoned (arrow). 

17. You restored eyes to Rijrashwa, who, on 
presenting a hundred sheep to the she-wolf, had 
been condemned to darkness by his indignant father, 
and gave light to the blind, wherewith to behold all 

18. (Desiring) that the enjoyment (arising from 
the perfection) of the senses (should be restored to 
the blind), the she-wolf invoked -you, (saying), 
“ Ashwins, showerers (of benefits), leaders (of sacri- 
fices), Ruraswa, (lavish) as a youthful gallant, 
(has given me) a hundred and one sheep, cutting them 
into fragments.” 

19. Ashwins, your powerful protection is the 
source of happiness ; worthy of laudation, you have 
made whole the maimed; therefore, has the intelli- 
gent (Ghosha) called upon you : showerers (of 
benefits), come hither with your succours. 

20. Dasras, you filled the milkless, barren, and 
emaciated cow of Shayu with milk; you brought, 
by your powers, the daughter of Purumitra, as a 
wife, to Vimada. 

21. Ashwins, causing the barley to be sown (in 
the fields that had been prepared) by the plough; 
milking (the clouds) for the sake of Manu ; destroy- 
ing the Dasyu with the thunderbolt; you have bes- 
towed brilliant light upon the Ary a. 

22. You replaced, Ashwins, with .the head of a 
horse, (the head of) Dadhyanch, the son of 
Atharvan, and, true to his promise, fih^revealed to 

194 Rig-veda Translation [I. 17. 3 

you the mystic knowledge which he had learned 
from Twashtri, and which was as' a ligature of the 
waist to you. 

23. Sapient Ashwins, I ever solicit your favour; 
protect all my religious duties, and grant, Nasatyas, 
abundant and excellent Wealth, together with oil- 

24. Liberal Ashwins, leaders (of sacrifices), you 
gave to Vadhrimati her son Hiranyahasta ; 
bounteous Ashwins, you restored to life the triply- 
mutilated Shyava. 

- 25. These, your ancient exploits, Ashwins, our 
forefathers have celebrated, and we offer adoration 
to you, shoWerers (of benefits) repeating your 
praises, accompanied by our dependants. 

I. 17. 3 

The deities, the Rishi, and metre, as before. 

1. May your elegant and rich car, swift as a 
hawk, come, Ashwins, to our presence, for it is as 
quick as the mind of man, surmounted, shoWerers 
(of benefits), by three columns, and rapid as the wind. 

2. Come to us with your tri-columnar, triangular, 
three-wheeled, and well-constructed car; replenish 
our cows (with milk), give spirit to our horses, and 
augment, Ashwins, our posterity, 

3. Dasras, (having come) with your quick- 
moving well-constructed car, hear this hymn, 
(recited by one) who reveres you : do not the ancient 
sages say that you are most prompt, Ashwins, (to 
avert) poveply from the worshipper? 

First Mandat a 


4. May your quick-moving, prancing steeds, rapid 
as hawks, yoked to your car, bear you. Ash wins, 
(hither), who, quick as (falling) water, like vultures 
flying through the air, convey you, Nasatyas, to the 

5. Leaders (of sacrifice), the youthful daughter 
of Surya ascended, delighted, this your car; may 
your strong-bodied prancing, fleet, and shining 
horses, bring you near us. 

6. By your deeds, Dasras, you raised up 
Vandana, and, showerers (of benefits), Rebha; 
you bore the son of Tugra over the sea, and made 
Chyavana young. 

7. You (gave relief) to the imprisoned Atri, 
(quenching the) scorching heat, and fed him with 
grateful food; solicitous of worthy praise, you gave 
sight to Kanwa, blinded (by darkness). 

8. You filled his cow with milk, Ashwins, for 
the an'cient Shayu, when imploring (your aid); you 
liberated the quail from danger ; you gave a leg to *■'' 

9. You gave to Pedu, Ashwins, the white and 
foe-trampling steed which you had received from 
Tndra, loud-neighing (in battle), defying enemies, 
high-spirited, the acquirer of a thousand treasures, 
vigorous, and firm in body. 

10. Earnestly we call you, leaders (of the sacrifice), 

such (as you have been described), and who are well 
born, to our succour, soliciting, AsBwins, wealth; 
contented with our laudations, come tq us with your 
wealthy car, to bring us felicity. \ 

196 Rig-veda Translation [I. 17. 4 

11. Come to us, auspicious Nasatyas, with the 
fresh velocity of a hawk: bearing an oblation, I in- 
voke you, Ashwins, at the rising of the ever constant 

I. 17. 4 

Rishi and deities the same ; the metre is Jagati . 

1. Desiring food, I invoke, (Ashwins), to support 
my life, your wonderful car, swift as thought, drawn 
by fleet horses, worthy of veneration, many-bannered, 
bringing rain, containing wealth, abundantly yielding 
delight, and conferring riches. 

2. Upon its moving, our minds have been raised 
on high in praise; our hymns reach (the Ashwins). 
I sweeten the oblation : the assistants come nigh : 
Urjani, (the daughter of the sun), has ascended, 
Ashwins, your car. 

3. When devout and unnumbered (men), victorious 
in battle, mutually contending for wealth, come 
together, your car, Ashwins, is perceived on its 
downward course, in which you bear excellent 
(treasure) to the worshipper. 

4. You brought back to his ancestors (Bhujyu, 
who, borne by his own steeds, had perished, (but 
that you .rescued him) with your self-harnessed horses, 
and went showerers (of benefits), to his distant 
dwelling; and great was the succour which it is 
known you rendered to Divodasa. 

5. Ashwins, your admirable (horses) bore the 
car which yfia had harnessed, (first) to the goal, for 

I. 17. 4] 

First Mandala 


the sake of honour, and the damsel, who was the 
prize, came, through affection, to you, and acknow- 
ledged your (husbandship), saying, “ You are (my) 
lords ”, 

6. You preserved Rebha from the violence around 
him ; you quenched with snow, for Atri, the scorch- 
ing heat; you generated milk in the cow of Shayu; 
and (by you) was Vandana endowed with prolonged 

7. Skilful Dasras, you restored Vandana, when 

■* '• 

debilitated by old age, as a (wheelwright repairs a 
worn-out) car; (moved) by his praises, you brought 
forth the sage (Vamadeva) from the womb: may 
your (glorious) deeds be (displayed) for him who in 
this place offers you worship. 

8. You repaired to him who, afflicted by the 
abandonment of his own father, praised you from 
afar : hence your prompt and wonderful succours 
have been wished to be at hand (by all). 

9. That honey-seeking bee also murmured your 
praise ; the son of Usij invokes you to the exhilaration 
of the Soma juice: you conciliated the mind of 
Dadhyanch, so that, provided with the head of a 
horse, he taught you (the mystic science). 

10. Ashwins, you gave to Pedu the white (horse) 
desired by many, the breaker-through of combatants, 
shining, unconquerable by foes in battle, fi- for every 
work; like Indra, the conquerer of men. 

198 Rig-veda Translation (1. 17. 5 

I. 17. 5 

The deities and Rishi aie the same. Of She thirteen stanzas of 
the hymn, the first ten are in as many different metres ; the three 
last are in the Gayatri measure. 

1 . What praise may propitiate you, Ashwins ? 
who may give satisfaction to you both ? how may 
any ignorant (man) pay fitting homage ? 

2. Thus may an ignorant man inquire the means 
of worshipping the all-wise, for every (one) other 
(than, the Ashwins) is unknowing; they, the un- 
conquered, quickly (show favour) to the man (who 
worships them). 

3. We invoke you, who know all things; may 
you, who are omniscient, declare to us to-day the 
praise that is acceptable: desirous of your presence, 
I reverence you, offering (oblations). 

4. I invite not the gods immature (in wisdom), 
but you, Dasras ; drink of the wonderful and strength- 
giving burnt-offering, and make us vigorous. 

5. (Powerful is) the hymn that Was repeated by 
the son of Ghosha, and by Bhrigu, and with which 
hymn the Angirasas adore you : may the sage 
(Kakshivat), desirous (of food), obtain it abundantly. 

6. Hear the song of the stumbling (blind man), 
for verily, Ashwins, I glorify you, recovering my 
eyes (through you), who are protectors of good 

7. You have been givers of great riches ; you have 
again caused them to disappear; do you, who are 
donors of dwellings, become our preservers ; protect 
us from the/elonious robber. 

1. 18. 1] First ManHala 199 

8. Deliver us not, Ashwins, to our enemies; 
never may our cows, who nourish us with their 
udders, stray from our houses, separated from their 

9. Those who adore you obtain (wealth) for the 
support of their friends : direct us to opulence, 
bestowing food ; direct us to food, associated with 

10. I have obtained, without horses, the car of 
the food-bestowing Ashwins, and expect (to gain) 
by it much (wealth). 

11. This (is he who has obtained thee), wealth- 
bearing (car): augment (my prosperity); may the 
delightful car bear the Soma beverage of men (to 
the Ashwins).. 

12. Now am I disdainful of sleep, and of the rich 
man who benefits not others, for both (the morning 

[ sleep and the selfish rich man) quickly perish. 


T. 18. 1 

The deifies are Indra, or the Vishwadevas ; the Rishi is 
Kakshivat, the metre Trishtubh. 

1. When will Indra, the protector of men and 
granter of riches, listen to the praises thus (recited) 
of the Angirasas, who are devoted to the gods ? 
When he perceives the ministers of the master of the 
mansion, and is to be the object of worship in the 
sacrifice, he greatly exults. 

200 Rig-veda Translation [T. 18. 1 

2. He verily upholds the heaven : he, the brilliant, 

the leader of the (stolen) herd, pours forth the flowing 
(water), for the sake of food : the mighty Indra 

manifests himself after his own daughter, (the dawn) ; 
he made the female of the horse unnaturally the 
mother of the cow. 

3. May he, illuminating the purple (dawn), listen 
to the invocation (addressed to him) of old, daily 
bestowing wealth upon the race of Angiras: he has 
sharpened his fatal shaft; he has supported the 
heaven for the good of men, of quadrupeds, and 

4. In the exhilaration of this Soma juice, you 
have restored the celebrated herd of cattle, hidden (in 
the cave), for the sake of sacrifice, (to the Angirasas) : 
when, Indra, the threefold crest engages in combat, 
he opens the doors of the tyrannical descendants of 
Manu ; — 

5. When your parents, (heaven and earth), the 
protectors (of the world), brought the nutritious and 
invigorating oblation to thee, who art quick in act, 
and when they offered thee the pure and precious milk 
of the milch-cow. 

6. Now is Indra manifested; may he, the over- 
come! (of his foes), grant us happiness, he, who shines 
brightly, like the sun of this dawn : may the excellent 
Soma, being sprinkled upon the place of sacrifice 
with a ladle, (exhilarate us), by whom, presenting the 
oblations we had prepared, it was imbibed. 

7. When 'the bright-edged hatchet is ready for 
its Work, the directing priest is able to have the victim 

1. 18. 1] 

First Mandala 


bound in the sacrifice : when, Indra, you shine upon 
the days that are appropriated to sacred rites, then 
(success attends) upon the man who goes with his 
cart (for fuel), the driver (of cattle), or the active 

8. Send hither thy horses, the quaffers of the 
exhilarating libation; overcome, warrior, the adver- 
sary plundering us of our treasure; when they express 
with stones, for the increase (of thy strength), the 
delightful, exhilarating, invigorating (juice), to» be 
overtaken by thee, who art swifter than the wind. 

9. Thou didst hurl thy iron bolt upon the quick- 
moving ( Asura ), the swift destroyer of foes, that was 
brought (to you) by Ribhu from heaven; when thou, 
who art worshipped by many, striking Shushna, 
for the sake of Kutsa, didst encompass him with 
numberless fatal (weapons). 

10. When the sun (had emerged) from the 
struggle .with darkness, thou didst break, wielder of 
the thunderbolt, the cloud that had been his annoy- 
ance, and didst sunder the well-fastened covering in 
which Shushna had enveloped him. 

11. Then the vast, powerful, and immoveable earth 
and heaven animated thee, Indra, to glorious deeds, 
and thou didst hurl down into the waters, with thy 
mighty thunderbolt, the everywhere-spreading and 
destroying Vritra. 

12. Indra, friend of man, mount the horses whom 
you cherish, who are fleet as the wind, arc easily 
yoked, ard who bear (their burden) well; you have 
sharpened the foe-destroying thunder bolt;, the slayer 

202 Rig-veda Translation [1. 18. 1 

of Vritra, which inspiring (Weapon) Usanas, the 
aon of Kavi, gave you. 

13. Stop, Sura, your yellow horses, for this 
Etasha, Indra, drags the wheel : having driven 
those who offer no sacrifices to the opposite bank of 
the ninety rivers, you compel them (to do) what is to 
be done. 

14. Indra, bearer of the thunderbolt, preserve us 
from this (poverty), that is so difficult to be destroyed, 
and* from misfortune in war; grant us riches, con- 
spicuous for chariots, remarkable for horses, for the 
sake of food, of fame, and of truth. 

15. Famous for affluence, Indra, never may thy 
favour be withdrawn from us ; may food ever sustain 
us ; opulen t Maghavan, make us possessors of cattle, 
and may we, most assiduous in thy adoration, be 
happy, together (with our families). 

End of the First Ashtaka. 



Page 1 

1 . Agni. — A great variety of etymologies are devised 
to explain the meaning of the term Agni , the most of 
which are obviously fanciful, but the ynport of which 
expresses the notions entertained of his character and 
functions. On earth he is invoked ( niyate ) the first (Agra) 
of the gods; in heaven he is the leader ( Agrani ) of the 
hosts of the gods; he is the first of the gods ( prathamo 
devanam); he was the first-born of the gods (su \a esho 
agrc devatanam ajayata ). In these derivations Agni is 
compounded irregularly out of agra, first, and w, to lead. 
It is also derived from anga, body, because he offers his 
own substance in the lighting of the sacrificial fire. The 
author «of a Nirukta or glossary called Sthuhishtivin, 
derives it from the root knu 9 with the negative prefixed 
( aknopayati), he who does not spare the fuel. Another 
compiler of a glossary, Sakapuni , derives the word from 
three roots, /, to go, anj, to anoint, and dah , to burn, 
collectively; the letters being arbitrarily changed to ag 9 
and ni from the root ni, being added. See also Yaska's 
Nirukta , 7, 14. 

The Priest. — Agni is termed the Purohita , the priest 
who superintends family rites, or because he is one of 
the sacred fires in which oblations are first ( puras ) offered 
(hita). 9 * 

The Divine. — Deva , which in common use means a 
god, is ordinarily explained in the passages in which it 
occurs in the Veda as ‘the bright, shining, radiant,’ being 


Rig-veda Translation 

derived froth div, to shine; or it is also explained, one 
who abides in the sky or heaven ( dyusthana ). It is here 
also optionally rendered, liberal, donor; the sense of 
‘giving’ being ascribed to the same radical. 

The Ministrant. — Ritwij, a ministering priest, or, 
according to some, the Ritwij who is also the Hotri , — 
the term that follows in the text — the priest who actually 
presents the oblation, or who invokes or summons the 
deities to the ceremony, accordingly as the word is derived 
from hu, to sacrifice, or live, to call. 

The Possessor of Great Wealth. — The word is 
ratnadhatama, lit. holder of jewels; but ratna is explained 
generally wealth, and figuratively signifies the reward of 
religious rites. 

2. Ancient and Modern Sages. — The terms purva 
and nutana, former and recent, applied to Rishis or sages, 
are worthy of remark, as intimating the existence of 
earlier teachers and older hymns. The old Rishis are said 
to be Bhrigu, Angiras, and others; perhaps those who 
are elsewhere termed Prajapatis. — Vishnu Purana. 

4. The Unobstructed Sacrifice. — Adhwaram yajnam. 
The first is usually employed as a substantive, meaning 
also sacrifice; it is here used as an adjective, signifying 
free from injury or interruption; that is, by Rakshasas , 
evil spirits always on the alert to vitiate an act of worship. 

“On every side” alludes to the fires which at a 
sacrifice should be lighted at the four cardinal points, 
east, west, south, and north, termed severally the Ahava- 
niya, Marjaliya, Garhapatya, and Agnidhriya. 

5. The Attainer of Knowledge. — Kavi-kratu is 
here explained to signify one by whom either knowledge 
or religious acts ( kratu ) have been acquired or performed 
( kranta ); the compound is commonly used as a synonyme 
of Agni. « 

Notes on Volume I 


Page 2 

6. That is, the wealth bestowed upon the Yajamana,. 
the person by whom or on whose behalf the sacrifice is 
performed, will enable him to multiply his oblations, by 
which Agni again will benefit. Instead of Agni repeated, 
we have in the second place Angiras as a synonyme, 
which in Manu and all the Puranas is the name of a 
Rishi or Prajapati, one of the primitive mind-born sons 
of Brahma; and the appellation is used frequently in the 
text of the Veda in that sense, as the designation of a 
Rishi, the founder of a family or of a School. The com- 
mentator quotes Yaska for the identity of Angiras with 
Angara, a live coal, and a passage from the Aitareya 
Brahmana is cited, in which it is said, “the coals became 
the Angirasas” {ye angarah asanste angiraso abhavan). 
The identification of Angiras with Agni in function, though 
not in person, is the subject of a legend, told rather 
confusedly and obscurely in the Mahabharata Vanaparva, 
Vol. I, by Markandeya to Yudhishthira, in reply to his 
question how it happened formerly that Agni, having 
gone to the forest and his functions having ceased, 
Angiras became Agni, and conveyed the oblations to the 
gods. Connected with this question he also inquires, 
how it is that Agni, who is one, should become many. 
Markandeya therefore relates that Agni, having engaged 
in penance, and relinquishing his duties, the Muni Angiras 
took upon him his office, and when he prevailed upon 
Agni to resume it, became his son; his descendants, the 
Angirasas, are therefore also the descendants of Agni, or 
so many Agnis, or fires. Their enumeration, which follows 
at some length, shows them to be for the most part per- 
sonifications of light, of luminous bodies, of divisions of 
time, of celestial phenomena, and fires adapted to peculiar 
occasions, as the full and change of the .moon, or to 


Rig- veda Translation 

particular rites, as the Ashwamedha, Rajasuya, the Paka 
yajnas, or sacrifices with food, obsequial and funeral 
fires, expiatory fires, and the like. The legend is possibly 
intended to represent the organization of worship with 
fire, which in the first instance was of a primitive and 
simple character, and its appropriation to various occa- 
sions bv Angiras and his disciples. The Mahabharata 
is not contented with the first account, but gives a second, 
in which the first Agni is called Saha, and he is said to 
have hidden himself in the ocean to avoid the approach 
of Niyata, the son of Bharata, the fire of the funeral pile. 
The text says, “through fear’’, the commentary says, 
either through fear of being rendered impure by his 
contact, or being ashamed of his relationship, Niyata 
being his own grandson. The gods coming to look for 
Agni, he designated as his substitute Atharvan, also called 
Angiras, who for a time acted as Agni, until the latter 
was induced to resume his office. The legend is con- 
structed, as the commentary shows, out of Vaidik texts, 
but the details are clumsily and contradictorily put 
together, indicating, perhaps, their almost obsolete 
antiquity at the time of the compilation of the Maha- 

8. Swe dame, sua domo, the chamber in which fire- 
worship is performed, and in which the fire increases by 
the oblations poured upon it. Damah, for a home or 
house, is peculiar to the Vedas. 

1. Vayu is invoked in a visible form as the deity 
presiding over the wind; it is doubtful if the expressions 
which in this and similar instances intimate personality, 
are to be understood as indicating actual figures or 
idols: the personification is probably only poetical. 

These Libations. — These Somas are libations of the 
juice of the*3oma plant, the acid Asclepias or Sarcostema 

Notes on Volume I 


viminalis , which fields to expressure a copious milky 
juice, of a mild nature and sub-acid taste. — Roxburgh r 
2, 32. According to Mr. Stevenson, it is not used in 
sacrifices until it has gone through the process of ferment- 
ation and has become a strong spirituous beverage. — . 
Introduction to Translation of the Sama Veda . This is 
warranted by numerous expressions in the following 
hymns. It is evidently the Horn of the Parsis , although 
they affirm that the plant is not to be found in India , 
and procure it from the mountains of Ghil^p and 
Mazenderan, and the neighbourhood of Yezd. 

2. With Holy Praises. — With Ukthas , also desig- 
nated Shastras , hymns of praise recited, not chanted or 

3. Thy Approving Speech. — Vayu is supposed to* 
say, I will drink the libation. 

Page 3 

6. Men. — Nara y dual of nara , a man: this term is. 
frequently applied to divine beings; it is usually explained 
by the Scholiast, netri , leader or guide, but it may be 
doubted if it does not convey the sense of male or 
mortal, alluding to the limited existence of the divinities.. 
In this place it is said to be applicable to Vayu and 
Indra , because they are possessed of manly vigour 
(paurushena samarthyena upetau ). 

7. Mitra, in its ordinary sense, is a name of the 
sun; Varuna , of the regent of the waters; but they are 
both included among the twelve Adityas, and in another 
place, Mitra is said to be the deity presiding over day, 
Varuna over night: see note on I. 14. 5. 3. 

Dhiyam ghritachim sadhanta . The .two first words, 
in the senses here explained, dhi, an act, and ghritachim 
water-shedding, are peculiar to the Veda. As identified 
with the sun or as Adityas , Mitra and Varma are said 


Rig-veda Translation 

to cause rain indirectly by producing 'evaporation; the 
vapours thus raised becoming condensed in the atmo- 
sphere descend again in showers. 

8. Augmenters of Water. — Ritavridhau. Rita usu- 
ally means true or truth, but in the Veda it imports also 
water and sacrifice. 

1. The Ashwins are the two sons of the Sun, 
begotten during his metamorphosis as a horse (ashwa), 
endowed with perpetual youth and beauty, and physi- 
cians of the gods;, they are the heroes of many legends 
in the Puranas, but of still more in this Veda; the 
enumeration of their wonderful actions is the especial 
subject of Hymns 116 and 117. 

Long-Armed. — Purubhuja, which may be also render- 
ed, great eaters. 

3. Dasra, destroyers either of foes or of diseases; 
the medical character of the Ashwins is a Vaidik tradition, 
as in a text quoted by Sayana (“ ashwinau vai devanam 
bhishajau — iti Sruteh"), the two Ashwins verily are the 
physicians of the gods. — Veda. 

Leaders in the Van of Heroes. — This is the 
Scholiast’s interpretation of a rather curious compound, 
Rudra-varttani. Rudra, from the root rud, implies weep- 
ing; as say the Taittiriyas, — Inasmuch as he wept, thence 
came the property or function of rudra (yad arodit tad 
rudrasya rudratwam ). This is also the Pauranik etymology. 
— Vishnu Parana. The Vajasaneyis make the verb causal, 
“they cause to weep”, therefore they are rudras {yad 
rodayanti tasmad rudrah). From these texts Sayana 
renders rudra, heroes, they who make their enemies weep. 
Varttani means a coad or way; or here it is said the front 
of the way, the van; and the compound means, they 
who are in the van of warriors. 

Notes on Volume I 


Lopped Sacred Grass. — Vriktabarhishah . The sacred 
kusha grass (Poa % cynosuroides\ after having had the roots 
cut off, is spread on the Vedi or altar, and upon it the 
libation of Soma juice, or oblation of clarified butter, is 
poured out. In other places, a tuft of it in a similar 
position is supposed to form a fitting seat for the deity 
or deities invoked to the sacrifice. According to 

Mr. Stevenson, it is also strewn over the floor of the 
chamber in which the worship is performed. 

Page 4 

7. Universal Gods. — The Vishwadevas an? some- 
times vaguely applied to divinities in general; but they 
also form a class, whose station and character are 
imperfectly noticed, but who are entitled, at most religious 
rites, to share in the solemnity. In this and the two 
next stanzas, forming a Tricha or triad, to be recited at 
the worship of the Vishwadevas, some of their attributes 
are particularized, connecting them with the elements. 

9. Omniscient. — The original word is uncommon, 
Ehimayasah . The Scholiast explains it by those who 
have" obtained knowledge universally ( sarvatah prapta - 
prajnah ); or it may refer, Sayana states, to a legend in 
which the Vishwadevas addressed the Agni, Sauchika , who 
had gone into the water, saying, Ehi, come, ma yasih, 
do not go away; from whence they derived the appella- 
tion Ehimayasah. It is more than probable that the 
origin and import of the term were forgotten when 
Sayana wrote. 

10. Saraswati is here, as elsewhere, the Vag-devata> 
divinity of speech; other attributes are alluded to in the 
text; the three stanzas forming a tricha to be repeated 
at her worship. 

12. Saraswati is here identified with the river so< 


Rig-veda Translation 

Page 5 

2. The Gift of Cattle. — T hat is, if Indra be satis- 
fied, he will augment the worshipper’s herds. The notion 
is very elliptically expressed. 

3. Here again we have elliptical phraseology; the 
original is ma no ati khyah , lit. do not speak beyond 
us; the complete sense is supplied by the Scholiast. 

4. The injunction is addressed to the Yajamana , 
who is desired to ask if the Hotri , or invoker whom he 
employ^, is fit for his duty. The Hotri himself is 
supposed to enjoin this. 

5. The Scholiast would explain bruvantu , let them 
say, by let them praise Indra , but this does not seem 
to be necessary; the sense is connected with what follows, 
let them say procul este profani . 

7. These epithets of the Soma juice would be some- 
what unintelligible without the aid of the Scholiast. The 
perfecter of the acts, karmani prapnuvantam , is his render- 
ing of patayantam , causing to fall, and the last phrase, 
mandayatsakham , the friend of the delighter, he explains 
as in the text. 

8. Shatakratu , a name of Indra , is explained by 
Sayana , he who is connected with a hundred (many) acts, 
Teligious rites, bahu-karmma-yukta , either as their per- 
former or their object; or it may be rendered, endowed 
with great wisdom; kratu implying either karma , act, or 
prajna , knowledge. In the first sense the word may be 
the source of the Pauranik fiction that the dignity of 
Indra is attainable by a hundred Ashwamedhas . 

Vritranam , of the enemies of whom the Asura, Vritra , 
was the head, according to the Scholiast. We shall hear 
more of Vritra hereafter. 

Page 6 

1. Stornti-vahasah, lit. bearing praises. Rosen trans- 
lates it 4 sacra 9 ferentes; M. J.anglois, vous qui avez an 

Notes on Volume I 

213 * 

tresor cThymnes (, sacres ). Sayana explains the expression- 
“presenting in this rite Trivrit , Panchadasha, and others”, 
that is, collections of laudatory stanzas in the Rig-veda* 
so denominated. — Vishnu Parana . 

6. Seniority. — Jyaishthyam , abstract of Jyeshtha , 
elder, oldest; but it may also mean best or chiefest. 

8. The Scholiast supplies these particulars, the terms 
of the text being simply stomah and ukthah; the former,, 
he says, are the praises of the singers of the Sama (Sama- 
ganam stotrani ), the latter the hymns of the reciters of the 
Bahvrich ( Bahvrichanam shastrani); buf of this an3 other 
passages where Sayana inserts the designation of other 
Vedas , — the Sama and the Yajush , — it is to be observed 
that the accuracy of his additions involves the prior 
existence of those Vedas , at least to the hymns of the 
Rich in which they are supposed to be alluded to; 
a conclusion which there is reason to hesitate admitting. 

Page 7 

1. The text has only Paritasthushah , those who are 
standing around: the lokatrayavarttinah praninah , the 

living beings of the three worlds, is the explanation of 
the Scholiast. 

Of the three first objects, the text gives only the 
epithets Vradhna , the mighty, to which Sayana adds 
Aditya , the sun, Arusha , the non-injuring, to which Fire 
is supplied, and charar 9 the moving, an epithet of Wind. 
The last phrase is complete, — rochante rochana divi. 
Say ana's additions are supported by a Brahmana , which 
explains the epithets as equivalent severally to Aditya , 
Agni 9 and Vayu ( Asau va, Adityo vradhnah; Agnir va 
arushah; Vayurva charan ); we may % therefore admit it* 
The identification of Indra with the three, implies, the 
Scholiast says, his supremacy, — he is paramaishwarya - 
yukta; but the text says they join (yunjanti);^md it does 


Rig-veda Translation 

not appear exactly whom, for Indra is not named; as 
the following stanzas show, however, that the hymn is 
addressed to Indra, he may be allowed to keep his place 
as essentially one with the sun, fire, wind, and the 

2. The horses of Indra are named Hari, usually 
considered as denoting their colour, green or yellow, or 
as Rosen has it, flavi. In this same verse we have them 
presently described as Shona, crimson, bright bay, or 

Placed on Either Hand. — Vipakshasa, harnessed on 
different sides. Sayana says of the chariot, we should say 
of the pole; but the Hindu ratha may not have had 
a pole. 

Chief-bearing. — Literally, men-bearing, — nrivahasa. 

3. Indra is here again identified with the sun, whose 
morning rays may be said to reanimate those who have 
been dead in sleep through the night. There is some 
difficulty in the construction, for Maryah , mortals, is 
plural, while ajayathah is the second person singular of 
the first preterite. Sayana is of opinion that the want 
of concord is a Vaidik license, and that the plural sub- 
stantive Maryah has been put for the singular Mary a. 

4. The Maruts are not named in the text, but the 

allusions justify the commentator’s specification: the 

winds drive Indra, or the firmament, into an aggregation 
of clouds, in which the rain again collects, as in their 

5. Allusion is here made to a legend which is 
frequently adverted to, of the Asuras named Panis, having 
stolen the cows of. the gods, or according to some versions, 
of the Angirasas, and bidden them in a cave, where they 
were discovered by Indra with the help of the birth Sarama. 
A dialogue bttween her and the robbers is given in another 

Notes on Volume I 


place, in which she conciliates them: in other passages 
the cows are represented as forcibly recovered by Indra 
with the help of the Maruts. 

7. Allusion, it is said, is here made to a battle 
between Indra and Vritra ; the gods who had come to the 
aid of the former were driven away by Vritra' s dogs, and 
Indra , to obtain the superiority, summoned the Maruts 
to his assistance. 

Page 8 

9. The region of the winds is properly the Dyu-loka , 
the heaven, or region above the Antariksha or sky, or 
they may come from a sphere of light further above, or 
the solar region, Aditya-mandalat . 

10. Either the Prithivi-loka or the Dyu-loka; the 
text adds Maho-rajasah , which the Scholiast explains the 
great Antariksha-loka , the sphere of the firmament, which 
is properly the space between the earth and heaven, 
corresponding with Vyoman or Akasha, the sky or atmo- 
sphere . — Manila 1. 13. 

1. The Scholiast supplies the specification of the 
several Vedas . The first term, Gathina , merely means 
singers, although he renders it Giyamanasamayukta- 
udgatarah , “the Udgatris with Samas to be chanted”, 
an interpretation, he thinks, confirmed by the next term 
(songs), Brihat for Brihata , “with the Brihat-Sama ”. The 
next phrase, Arkinah arkebhih , is more akin to Rich , 
“Those of the Rig-veda , with stanzas”, but it is not 
necessarily confined to that sense; and as Arka is a 
synonyme of Mantra , a prayer, the sense may be, those 
who pray or praise Indra with prayers. For the Adhwar - 
>yus, or priests of the Yajush , we have nothing at all in the 
original; and the term Vanih for Vanibhih, “with texts 
or words”, which occurs apparently without any gram- 
matical connection, may be referred either to, the singers 


Rig-veda Translation 

or the reciters of the prayers. It is applied by the 
Scholiast to the texts of the Yajush , apparently only 
because he had connected the preceding expressions with 
the other two Vedas : as already remarked, any reference 
to the Yajush or Sama in a verse of the Rich, implies 
the priority of the two former to the latter. 

2. Richly- Decorated. — So the Scholiast explains 
the term of the text, Hiranyaya; literally, golden, or 
made of gold. 

3. The world being enveloped in darkness by Vritra 
Indrawn order to remove it, elevated (arohayat, or as the 
comment says sthapitavan , placed) the sun in the Dyu ~ 
loka, or heaven: the latter part of the passage may also 
be rendered, he (the sun) animated the mountain ( i.e ., 
the world) with his rays. 

Page 9 

9. The text has, over the five men or classes of men, 
pancha kshitinam ; the latter term is explained etymo- 
logically, those who are fit for habitations (nivasarhanam): 
the phrase is of not unfrequent recurrence, and is usually 
said to imply the four castes, Brahmanas , Kshatriyas , 
Vaishyas , and Shudras , and Nishadas , barbarians, or 
those who have no caste, intending possibly the aboriginal 
races of India, all in a very low stage of civilization, 
like the Gonds , Koles , and Bhils of the present day. 

2. Hand to Hand. — Literally, by striking with the 
fist, mushtihatyaya . 

On Horseback. — “With a horse”; the Scholiast 
explains this and the preceding to intend infantry and 

Page 10 

7. The Scholiast expounds the text urvirapo na 
kakudah as rendered above; but kakuda may refer to 
kakud , the pinnacle of a mountain, and the phrase might 

Notes on Volume I 217 

then be translated, “like the abundant waters (or torrents) 
from the mountain-tops”. 

10. Chanted and Recited Praises. — The first is the 
translation of Stoma , which the commentary defines, 
Samasadhyam stotram , praise to be accomplished by the 
Sama-Veda : the second is the rendering of Uktha , which 
the same authority describes as the Rik-sadhyam shastram , 
the unsung praise to be accomplished by the Rich. 
Shastram is explained by Shridhara Swami , in the scholia 
on the Bhagavata Pur ana , to signify a sacred hymn > not 
sung; Shastram apragita-mantrastotram; the repetition of 
which is the office of the Hotri; Hotuh-karma; while 
Stud and Stoma imply the sung or chanted hymn, 
Sangitam stotram. M. Burnouf renders Shastrct , es 
prieres (mentales) qui sont comme le glaive; and in a note 
in the Vishnu Parana , 1 have translated the same expres- 
sion of the Bhagavata , the unuttered incantation; but it 
may be doubted if this is quite correct; the difference 
between Shastra and Stoma seems to be, that one is 
recited, whether audibly or inaudibly, the other sung. 

3. With the Handsome Chin. — Su-sipra; but Sipra 
means either the lower jaw, or the nose, and the com- 
pound may equally denote the handsome-nosed. 

Page 1 1 

3. Reverenced by All Mankind. — The epithet, 
v is hwachar shane, is literally, “oh ! thou who art all men”, 
or as Sayana explains it, sar va-man ushya-yukta, who art 
joined with all men, which he qualifies as, sarvair yaja - 
manaih pujyah , to be worshipped by all institutors of 
sacrifices. It may be doubted if this be all that is in- 
tended; Rosen renders it, omnium * hominum domine; 
M. Langlois has, maitre souverain . 

4. Reached Thee. — The Scholiast makes this, 
“ reached thee in heaven”, or Swarga. It may be ques- 

218 Rig-veda Translation 

tioned if the Veda recognizes Swarga as the heaven of 
Indra . 

8. The original of this hymn, as of many others* 
is so concise and elliptical, as to be unintelligible without 
the liberal amplification of the Scholiast. We have in the 
text simply, “those car-having viands”, ta rathinir-ishah, 
meaning, Sayana says, those articles of food which are 
conveyed in cars, carts, or waggons, from the site of their 
production; as rice, barley, and other kinds of grain. 

9. Here, again, we have only gantaram , he who 
goes,' that is, according to the comment, he who is 
accustomed to go to the chamber which is appropriated 
to sacrifices, yagadeshe gamanashilam. 

10. Dweller. — The epithet is Nyokas, from ni, ex- 
plained niyata , fixed, permanent, and okas , dwelling. 

1. This stanza is nearly similar to the first stanza 
of the seventh hymn (I. 2. 4. 1), and is similarly expounded 
by the commentator. The first term, Gayatrina , literally 
those who employ the Gayatri metre, is said by Sayana 
to denote the Udgatri , the chanter of the hymns of the 
Santa; Arkina is explained as before, the reciters of the 
Rich , and the same as the Hotri of a sacrifice. The third 
term, Brahmanah , is explained the Brahma of a sacrifice, 
or priest so denominated, and the other Brahmanas. The 
objection to the explanation of the first, as involving the 
prior recognition of the Sama-veda , has been already 
noticed. The total disconnection of the term Brahmanah , 
the plural of Brahman , from any reference to Brahmanas , 
as bearing a share in religious rites, and as implying only 
Be tender? 9 utterers of prayer, as proposed by Dr. Roth 
( Zeitschrift der K Dautschen morgen landischen Gesellschaft , 
Heft 1, s. 66), cannot be admitted without further investi- 
gation, although it may be possible that the Brahma of 
a sacrifice* does not necessarily involve the notion of a 

Notes on Volume I 


Brahmana by caste. , Rosen renders the word, Brahmani ; 
M. Langlois, pretres. The concluding phrase, twa 
vamsham iva udyemire, “they have raised thee like a 
bamboo”, is rather obscure; the Scholiast says, they 
have elevated Indra, as tumblers raise a bamboo pole, 
on the summit of which they balance themselves, a not 
uncommon feat in India; or as vamsha means also a 
family, it may be rendered, as ambitious persons raise 
their family to consequence. Roth’s proposed rendering, 
die Betenden schutteln dich auf wie man ein Rohr schiittelt 
“the praying agitate thee up as one shakes a reed”, has no 
warrant, except from his theory of the purport of Brahma, 
“irresistible prayer”, as udyam never means to shake, and 
a bamboo is not a reed, nor is it, when substantia], easily 
shaken. Rosen has, it is true, te arundinis instar eriyunt; 
but he had no preferable equivalent for bamboo. M. 
Langlois has, comme on eleve la hampe d'un drapeau. 
Sayana, no doubt, knew much better than either of the 
European interpreters what the expression intended. 

. Page 12 

2. The Ridges of the Mountain. — The original 
has only, mounting from ridge to ridge, yat sanoh sanum 
aruhat, which the Scholiast completes by observing that 
this is said of the Yajarnana, who goes to the mountain 
to gather either the Soma plant for bruising, or fuel for 
the fire, or other articles required for the ceremony. 

3. Well -conditioned. — Kakshyapra, lit. filling out 
their girths. 

4. Vasu, here used as a synonyme of Indra, is 
explained as the original donor or cause of habitations, 
from the radical ray, to dwell, nivasa •karana-bhuta. 

5. Shakra is a common synonyme of Indra, but is 
used, if not in this, clearly in the next stanza, as an 
epithet implying ‘the powerful’, from shak, to be able. 


Rig -veda Translation 

- 7. The text is literally rendered the meaning being 
that Indra, as the sender of rain, should fertilize the 
fields, and by providing abundant pasturage, enable the 
cattle to yield store of milk. 

Page 13 

11. In all the Pauranik genealogies, the son of 
Kushika is the sage Vishwamitra; and in order to explain 
its application to Indra, Sayana quotes the legend given in 
the Index ( Anukramanika ), which states that Kushika, the 
son .of Ishirathi i being desirous of a son equal to Indra, 
adopted a life of continence, in requital of which, Indra 
was born as the son of Gathi, the Gadhi of the Puranas. 

1. Expansive as the Ocean. — Samudra vyachasam, 
explained samudra vad vyaptavantam, spreading or pervad- 
ing like the ocean; a vague mode of indicating the 
universal diffusion of Indra as the firmament. 

4. The text has only puram bhinduh, breaker of 
cities; the Scholiast adds asuranam , of the Asuras. 

Page 14 

5. Vala, according to the Scholiast, was an- A sura, 
who stole the cows of the gods and hid them in a cave; 
Indra surrounded the cave with his army, and recovered 
the cattle. In the legend, as cited from the Anukramanika, 
the Panis, formerly noticed as the cow-stealers, are said 
to be the soldiers of Vala, and the actual thieves and 
concealers of them in the cave. Rosen conceives some 
relation to exist between this legend and that of Cacus 
quas fabulas aliquo cognationis vinculo inter se contineri, 
et ex uno eodemque fonte quantumvis remoto, derivatas esse 
persuasum quidem est mihi. — Adnotationes, p. xxi); but 
the story is likely td have originated in incidents common 
to an early and partly pastoral stage of society: we have 
the Cacus of the Highlands, and the Vala of the Veda, 
in such worthies as Donald Ben Lean. 

Notes on Volume I 


7. Shushna is described as an A sura slain by Indra; 
but this is evidently* a metaphorical murder. Shushna 
means dryer up, exsiccator; bhutanam shoshana-hetum, 
the cause of the drying or withering of beings, heat 
or drought; which Indra, as the rain, would put an 
end to. 

1. The Messenger of the Gods. — The commentator 

cites the Taittiriya Brahmana in confirmation of this 
function; Ushanas, the son of Kavi, being the messenger 
of the Asuras. Agnir devanam duta asid; Ushanah kavyo 
asuranam. • * 

2. The Lord of Men. — Vishpati; Vish being con- 
stantly used for prajah, progeny, people, men. 

3. Generated. — The original has only jajnanah, 
'being born’, that is, being artificially produced by the 
friction of two pieces of a particular species of wood, 
that of the Premna spinosa , used for the purpose. 

Page 15 

5. Rakshaswinah, having or being attended by 

6. The Guardian of the Dwelling. — Grihapati; 
but pati is most usually interpreted by Sayana , palaka, 
the cherisher or protector; hence it here characterizes 
Agni as the protector of the house of the Yajamana. 

Kindled by Agni. — That is, the Ahavaniya fire, into 
which the oblation is poured, is lighted by the application 
of other fire, whether taken from the household fire or 
produced by attrition. 

9. Pavaka. — A name of fire, or a fire; literally, the 

This verse is to be repeated when the worshipper 
approaches the combined Ahavaniya and Garhapatya fires, 
to offer the oblation. 


Rig-veda Translation 

Page 16 

I. 4. 2. — The Apris are usually enumerated as 
twelve, but sometimes, omitting one of the names of 
fire, Narashansa , only eleven, 

1. Su, well, sam, completely, and iddha , kindled, 
‘the thoroughly kindled’. 

2. Tanunapat , the devourer of clarified butter 
( tanunapa ), or, according to another etymology, the con- 
sumer of its own substance ( tanu ) or fuel. Napat occurs 
in the Nighantu as a synonyme of tan ay a, son or off- 
spring; but in this compound the second member is 
considered to be either ad, who eats, or pa, who pre- 
serves; the latter with na prefixed, napat , who does not 
preserve, who destroys. 

3. Narashansa , him whom men ( nara ) praise (shan- 

4. Ilita , the worshipped; from ila , to adore, to 

5. Barkis is said here to be an appellative also of 

Agni; the double meaning pervades the concluding 
phrase, wherein (in which grass, or in which Agni ) is the 
appearance of ambrosia, amri ta-darshanam; amrita imply- 
ing either the clarified butter sprinkled on the grass, or 
the immortal Agni. A mrita-samanasya ghritasya, or 

marana-rah i tasya Barhernamakasya , Agneh . 

6. The Bright Doors —T he doors of the chamber 
in which the oblation is offered, said to be personifications 
of Agni; A gn i vish esh am ur ttayah . 

7. Night and Dawn. — According to the ordinary 
import of naktam and ushas; but they, according to the 
Scholiast, denote 4 in this place two forms of fire presiding 
over those seasons, — tat-kalabhimanivahnimurttidwaye . 

8. The construction shows that we have two persons 
or divinities here; the Scholiast says two Agnis; the 

Notes on Volume I 


Index has daivyau Jiotarau prachetasau, two divine 
invokers ( Prachetasas ); or the latter word may mean 
merely sages, like the kavi of the text. 

9. Mahi is said to be a synonyme of Bharati, as 
appears from an analogous passage, where the names 
occur Ila, Saraswati, Bharati. These are also designated 
by the Scholiast as personifications of Agni, Agnimurtta- 
yah; they are also called the three personified flames of 
fire. As goddesses, the first, Ila, is the earth, the bride 
of Vishnu; Saraswati is, as usual, the goddes§ of eloquence, 
and wife of Brahma; the third, synonymous with speech, 
is called the wife of Bharata, one of the Adilyas; but 
these mythological personifications are of a post-Vaidik 

Page 17 

10. Twashtri, in the popular system, is identified 

‘with Vishwakarma, the artificer of the gods; and he 
seems to possess some attributes of that nature in the 
Vedas , being called the fabricator of the original sacri- 
ficial vase* or ladle. A text of the Veda is also quoted, 
which attributes to him the formation of the forms of 
animals in pairs: Twashta vai pashunam mithunanam 

rupakrid — iti Shruteh. He is also one of the twelve 
Adityas , and here is said to be an Agni: Twashtri-namakam 


11. Vanaspati, lord of the woods; usually, a large 
tree, here said to be an Agni, as if the fuel and the 
burning of it were identified. 

12. Swaha, as the exclamation used in pouring the 
oblation on the fire, may also be identified with Agni. 
In the section on the various Agnis in tl/e Mahahharata , 
Swaha is called the daughter of Brihaspati, the son of 
Angiras , The Puranas give her a different origin, and 

. make her the daughter of Daksha and wife of Agni. 


Rig-veda Translation 

2. The Kanwas properly denote the descendants or 
the disciples of the Rishi Kanwa , but the Scholiast would 
restrict the term in this place to the sense of sages 
( medhavinah ), or of officiating priests ( Ritwijas ). 

3. “Sacrifice, Agni, to,” are supplied by the com- 
mentary, for the verse contains only the proper names 
in the objective case: most of these have already occurred. 
Mitra , Pushan , and Bhaga are forms of the Sun, or 
Adityas , specified individually, as well as the class of 
Adityas , or Suns, in the twelve months of the year. Why 
Vrihaspati or Brihaspati should be inserted, is not explain- 
ed: the etymology of the name is given from Pan ini, 
VI. I, 157. Brihas for Brihat, great, divine, a deity; and 
patiy master, or protector, in his character of spiritual 
preceptor of the gods. 

6. Glossy-backed. — Ghrita prishthah , their backs 
shining with or from ghee or clarified butter; the com- 
mentary says, with which the horses are fed. 

7. Patni-vatahy having their wives. 

Page 18 

9. Lit. from the shining of the sun (Suryasya rocha - 
nat); equivalent, the Scholiast says, to Swarga-lokat; but 
Swarga and the Aditya-loka are usually regarded as very 
different. Perhaps the reading should be Swarlokat, 
from the region of heaven. 

10. Glories of Mitra.— Mitrasya dhamabhih, with 
the rays; or, according to the commentator, with various 
forms of Mitra. 

12. Rohits. — Tabhihy with them, in the feminine 
gender; and hence the Scholiast adds vadavabhih , mares; 
they are termed Rohits , which may mean red. The Nighantu 
defines the term as the name of the horses of Agni. 

I. 4. 4. — Ritu is, properly, a season, a sixth of the 
Hindu t'ear, but is here personified as a divinity. 

Notes on Volume I 


3. Neshtri is another name of Twashtri, from his 
having assumed, it is said, upon some occasion, the 
function of the Neshtri, or priest so denominated, at a 

4. Either at the three daily ceremonies, at dawn, 
midday, and sunset, or in the three fires lighted at 
sacrifices, — the Ahavaniya, Dakshina, and Garhapatya. 

Page 19 

5. The text is obscure. Brahmanad-radhasah is, 
literally, from Brahmanical wealth; but the latter is 
explained, a costly or wealthy vessel, — dhanabhutat patrot, 
and the former relating to the Brahmanachchhansi; 
Brahmanachchhansi-sambaddhat. The Brahmanachchhansi 
is one of the sixteen priests employed in sacrifices, 
corresponding in the second division of four to the 
Brahma in the first; and perhaps his function may be to 
hold some ladle or vase in which the offering is presented, 
or in which the portion not expended is removed, as it 
is said of him, “the relation is the ladle that has the 
leavings ",—itasya sambandhyuchchhishtas chamasah. Rosen 
renders it, sacra prcecepto congrua ex patera; M. Langlois, 
au vase qui contient Voffrande sacree. 

7. Grava-hastasah, having stones in their hands, 
with which to bruise the Soma plant. The Grava-van is 
also one of the sixteen priests; but it is here used 

Dravinodas is either an epithet or an appellative of 
Agni, as the donor (das) of wealth, or of strength, 

In the adhwara and in the yajnas, the first is said to 
be the primary or essential ceremony, prakriti-rupa, such 
as the Agnishtoma; the second, the modified ceremonies, 
vikriti-rupeshu; such as the Ukthya, which is elsewhere 
termed an offering with Soma juice, — Somasansthafyagam. 


Rig-veda Translation 

9. Or from the cup of the Neshtri , one of the 
sixteen officiating priests. 

10. That is, Dravinodas has been now celebrated in 
four stanzas. 

12. Giver of Rewards. — The name in the text is 
Santya, which is so explained by the Scholiast, from san, 
to give. 

Page 20 

3. Although not more particularly named, the 
specification implies the morning, midday, and evening 

5. Like the Gaura, said to be a sort of deer. 

Page 21 

1. Samrajoh, of the two emperors; but Raja is, in 
general, equivocally used, meaning, shining, bright, as 
well as royal, — so that Sayana explains the term, “possess- 
ed of extensive dominion”, or “shining very brilfiantly”, 
India may claim the title of Raja, as chief of the gods, 
but it seems to be in a more especial manner appropriated 
to Varuna. 

4. The stanza is rather elliptically and obscurely 
worded, and the sense of the leading term, yuvaka, is not 
very clear: it usually denotes a mixture of curds and 
ghee. We have in the text, yuvaku shachinam; yuvaka 
sumatinam; the former ( shachinam ) is explained, a mixture 
of buttermilk, water, and meal, suited for acts of religious 
worship; the latter, the combination of choice expressions 
and praises, which are the suitable phraseology of the 
right-minded or pious ( sumatinam ); the final clause is 
simply, may we be of (amongst) the givers of food. 

Page 22 

1. Brahmanaspati. — The Scholiast furnishes us 
with no account of the station or functions of this 
divinity. The etymology will justify Dr. Roth’s definition 

Notes on Volume I 


of him as the deity of .sacred prayer, or rather, perhaps, 
of the text of the Veda; but whether he is to be considered 
as a distinct personification, or as a modified form of 
one of those already recognized, and especially of Agni, 
is doubtful. His giving wealth, healing disease, and 
promoting nourishment, are properties not peculiar to 
him; and his being associated with Irtdra and Soma, 
whilst it makes him distinct from them, leaves him Agni 
as his prototype. His being in an especial manner 
connected with prayer, appears more fully in a sub- 
sequent passage, Hymn 40 (I. 8. 5). Agni is*in an especial 
degree the deity of the Brahman, and according to some 
statements, the Rig-veda is supposed to proceed from 
him; a notion, however, which, according to Medha- 
tithi, the commentator on Manu, was suggested by its 
opening^witlj/the hymn to Agni, Agnim-ile. 

This story is to be found in several of the Puranas , 
especially the Matsya and Vayu, as well as in the 
Mahabharata, Vof. I. Kakshival was the son of Dirgha- 
tamas, by , Usij, a female servant of the queen of the 
Kalinga Raja, whom her husband had desired to submit 
to the embraces of the sage in order that he might beget 
a son. The queen substituted her bondmaid Usij; the 
sage, cognisant of the deception, sanctified Usij, and begot 
by her a son, named Kakshivat, who through his affilia- 
tion by Kalinga was a Kshatriya, but as the son of 
Dirghatamas was a Brahmana: he was also a Rishi, as 
in another passage he says of himself, A ham kashivan- 
Rishirasmi, — I am the Rishi Kakshivat. The Taittiriyas 
also include him among the holy persons who are qualified 
to conduct sacrifices and compose hymns, Jn the Maha- 
bharata, Dirghatamas disallows the right of the king, 
there named Bali, to the sons of a Shudra female, and 
claims them as his own. •» 


Rig-veda Translation 

5. Dakshina is, properly, the present made to the 
Brahmanas at the conclusion of any religious rite, here 
personified as a female divinity. 

6. Sadasaspati. — Properly, the master or protector 
( pati ) of the assembly ( Sadas ); it is here a name of Agni. 
He is the friend or associate of Indra, as on this occasion 
partaking of the same oblations. 

7. Dhinam yogam invati, which may mean, “he per- 
vades the association of our minds”, or, “the objects of 
our pious acts”; as Dhi means either, as usual, buddhi, 
Understanding, or has the Vaidik sense of karma, act. 

9. Narashansa. — This has already occurred (p. 16) 
as an appellative of Agni, and confirms the application of 
Sadasaspati and Brahmanaspati to the same divinity. 
According to the Kathakya, it means the personified 
yajna, or sacrifice, at which men (nara) praise ( shansanti ) 
the gods; according to Shakapurni, it is as before (I. 4. 3).. 
Agni, he who is to be praised of men. The same expla- 
nation is quoted from the Brahmana: “I beheld (with 
the eye of the Vedas) that divinity Sadasaspati, who is 
to be praised by men, who is also called Narashansa." 

Page 23 

3. Devasah, explained dyotamana, shining. By the 
term ‘all’, is to be understood the seven troops of the 
Maruts, as by the text, sapta-gana vai marutah. 

Many texts ascribe to the Maruts, or winds, a main 
agency in the fall of rain; as, “ Maruts , you have risen 
from the ocean; taking the lead, you have sent down 
rain, — Udirayatha Marutah samudrato yuyam vrishtim 
varshayatha purishinah." Rajas, the word used in the 
text, means water, or light, or the world. — Nighantu. 

4. Here the word is Arka, as, according to the 
Vajasaneyis, Apo va arkah; the term is derived from 
arch, to worship, and is explained in two other texts. 

Notes on Volume X 


So archannacharat fasyarchatah apo ajayanta , — He 

( Hiranyagarbha ) proceeded, worshipping, (after creating 
the solid earth), and from him worshipping, the waters 
were produced. And again, Archato vai me kam abhut , — 
From me worshipping, water was. Hence the name 
Arka was given to water or rain. 

6. In the heaven ( divi-dyuloke ); above the sun 
(nakasya adhi; suryasya upari). Naka , here explained 
sun, is more usually explained sky, or heaven. 

8. The influence of the winds upon the sea, alluded 
to in this and the preceding verse, indicates more 
familiarity with the ocean than we should have ex- 
pected, from the traditional inland position of the early 

Page 24 

1. Devaya janmane, literally, to the divine or brilli- 
ant birth; but the Scholiast explains the latter, jciya- 
manaya , being born, or having birth, and the former, 
deva-sanghaya , a class of divinities, that is, the Ribhus , 
of whom it is only said, that they were pious men, who, 
through penance, obtained deification, — manushyah 
santastapasa devatwam praptah. Thanks to the learning 
and industry of M. Neve, of the University of Louvain, 
we are fully acquainted with the history and character 
of the Ribhus , as they appear in different portions of the 
Rig-veda . — Essai sur le Mythe des Ribhavas. Their origin 
and actions are also narrated in the Nitimanjari, as well 
as in the notes of Sayana , on this and other similar 
passages. The Ribhus were the three sons of Sudhanwan, 
a descendant (the Nitimanjari says, a son) of Angiras , 
severally named Ribhu , Vibhu , and Vaja y% and styled 
collectively Ribhus , from the name of the elder. Through 
their assiduous performance of good works, — swapas 
( su-apas) 9 they obtained divinity, exercised supeAuman 

230 RiG-VEt>A Translation 

powers, and became entitled to receive praise and adora- 
tion. They are supposed to dwell in the solar sphere, 
and there is an indistinct identification of them with the 
rays of the sun; but whether typical, or not, they prove 
the admission, at an early date, of the doctrine that men 
might become divinities. 

2. Shamibhir-yajnam-asata; M. Neve renders it, ils 
ont obtenu le sacrifice par leurs ceuvres meritoires ; M. 
Langlois, ils ont entoure le sacrifice de ceremonies ; Mr. 
Stevenson, they pervade our sacrifice by purificatory rites; 
Rosen, literally, ceremoniis sacrificium acceperunt . That 
three simple words should admit of this variety of render- 
ing, shows the vagueness of some of the Vaidik expressions. 
The sense seems to be, they have pervaded, appropriated, 
or accepted, the sacrifice offered (which last word is 
understood), with the usual implements and observances 
(shamibhih, ceremonies); as Sayana , grahachamasadi- 
nishpadanarupaih karmabhir , yajnam , asmadiyam asata 
( vyaptavantah ), they have pervaded (or accepted) our 
sacrifice, performed with those acts which are executed 
by the means of tongs, ladles, and other (utensils employed 
in making oblations). The expression may, perhaps, 
obscurely intimate the invention of the implements so 
used by the Ribhus , their modification of one of which, 
at least, is subsequently referred to, while other expres- 
sions imply mechanical skill. 

3. Takshan , for atakshan ; literally, they chipped or 
fabricated; so in the preceding verse, they carved ( tatak - 
shah) Indra’s horses. There it is said they did so mentally 
{manasa ); but in this verse there is no such qualification, 
and the meaning of the verb implies mechanical forma- 
tion. The Ribhus may have been the first to attempt 
the bodily representation of these appendages of Indra 
and the Ashwins. 

Notes on Volume I 


4. Satya-mantrah, having or repeating true prayers, 
i.e., which were certain of obtaining the objects prayed 
for. There is some variety in the renderings here also, 
but it was scarcely necessary, as the meaning is clear 

Succeeding. — Vishti, for Vishtayah; according to the 
Scholiast, vyaptiyuktah, in which vyapti means, encounter- 
ing no opposition in all acts, through the efficacy of their 
true or infallible mantras. 

Made. — Akrata, from kri, to make generally; not as 
before, atakshan, to make mechanically. " 

5. According to Ashwalayana, as quoted by Sayana, 
the libations offered at the third daily, or evening sacrifice, 
are presented to Indra, along with the Adityas, together 
with Rihhu, Vihhu, and Vaja, with Brihaspati and the 

6. Twashtri, in the Pauranik mythology, is the 
carpenter or artisan of the gods: so Sayana says of him, 
he is a divinity whose duty with relation to the gods 
is carpentry, — devasambandhih takshanavyaparah. Whether 
he has Vaidik authority of a more decisive description than 
the allusion of the text, does not appear. The same may 
be said of his calling the Ribhus the disciples of Twashtri , 
— Twashtuh shishyah Ribhavah. The act ascribed to them 
in the text, of making one ladle four, has, probably, 
rather reference to some innovation in the objects of 
libation, than to the mere multiplication of the wooden 
spoons used to pour out the Soma juice. The Niti- 
manjari says, that Agni, coming to a sacrifice which the 
Ribhus celebrated, became as one of them, and therefore 
they made the ladle fourfold, that each might have his 

7. Trir a saptani. The Scholiast considers that trih 
may be applied to precious things, as meaning best, 


Rig-veda Translation 

middling, worst, or to Saptani, seven sacrifices, as classed 
under three heads. Thus, one class consists of the 
Agnyadheyam , seven ceremonies in which clarified butter 
is offered on fire; one class consists of the Pakayajnas , 
in which dressed viands are offered to the Vishwadevas 
and others; and one comprehends the Agnishtoma class, 
in which libations of Soma juice are the characteristic 

8. Adharayanta, they held or enjoyed, is all the text 
giyes; what they held is not specified; the Scholiast 
supplies pranan , vital airs, life: his addition is in harmony 
with other texts. Martasah santo amritatwam anas huh , — 
Being mortals, they obtained immortality. Their partak- 
ing of sacrifices is also repeatedly stated: Saudhanwana 
yajniyam bhagam anasha , — By the son of Sudhanwan was 
a sacrificial portion acquired. Ribhavo vai deveshu tapasa 
Somapitham abhyajayan , — The Ribhus won by devotion 
the drinking of Soma among the gods. 

Page 25 

3. Mimikshatam , mix intimately the juice of the 
Soma. It is not clear how this is to be done with the 
whip, allusion to which only intimates, it is said, that the 
Ashwins should come quickly. Taya , by that, may also 
mean, with that, — come with that your whip; or kasha , 
commonly a whip, may mean speech; in which case, 
madhumati and sunritavati , explained wet, and loud, will 
signify sweet and veracious, — come with such speech, 
Ashwins , and taste the libation. 

5. Savitri is, ordinarily, a synonyme of the Sun. 
Golden-handed suvarna-hasta, is explained either, he who 
gives gold to the worshipper, or by a Vaidik legend: — 
At a sacrifice performed by the gods, Surya undertook 
the office of Ritwij, but placed himself in the station of 
the Brdiuna . The Adhwaryu priests, seeing him in that 

Notes on Volume I 


position, gave him the oblation termed Prashitra, which, 
as soon as received by Surya, cut off the hand that had 
improperly accepted it. The priests who had given the 
oblation bestowed upon Surya a hand of gold. The 
legend is narrated in the Kaushitaki , it is said; but there 
Surya loses both his hands. 

6. Apam-napat might be thought to mean, son of 
the waters, as napat is often used in the Veda in that 
sense; but the Sun is rather the parent than the progeny 
of the waters; as, Adityat jayate vrishtih, — rain is born 
from the sun. Napat is here taken in its .literal purpart, 
who does not cherish ( napalayati ), but dries them up by 
his heat, santapena shoshakah. 

Page 26 

10. Hotra is called the wife of Agni, or the personi- 
fied invocation; Bharati, of Bharata, one of the Adityas. 
It is rather doubtful if Varutri be a proper name or an 
epithet of the following; it is explained by varaniya, who 
is to be chosen or preferred, who is excellent. Dhishana 
is a synonyme of Vach or Vag-devi, the goddess of 
speech. • 

11. Achhinna-pakshah; the only explanation given 
by the Scholiast is, that the wives of the gods being in 
the form of birds, no one had cut their wings. 

14. The sphere of the Gandharvas, Yakshas, and 
Apsarasas, is the Antariksha, the atmosphere or firmament 
between heaven and earth, and so far considered as the 
common or connecting station of them both, — Akashe 
vartamanayoh dya vaprithi vyoh. 

Page 27 

15. Syona has sometimes the sense of expanded, 
sometimes of pleasant, agreeable. The sfania is repeated, 
it is said, at the ceremony termed Mahanamni , at the same 
time touching the earth. 


Rig-veda Translation 

] 6. Vishnu is explained by Sayana , by Parameshwara , 
the supreme ruler, or in his annotation on the next verse, 
to mean, he who enters into or who pervades the world, — 
Vishnur-vishaterva vyashnoter-va. Vichakrame , ‘stepped’, 
he explains by vividhapadakramanam kritavan , — he made 
the going of various steps. Rosen translates it trans - 
gressus. According to the Taittiriyas , as cited by the 
Scholiast, the gods, with Vishnu at their head, subdued 
the invincible earth, using the seven metres of the Veda 
as their instruments. Sayana conceives the text to allude 
to the Trivikrama Avatara , in which Vishnu traversed the 
three worlds in three steps. The phrase, preserve us from 
the earth, implies, according to the commentary, the 
hindrance of the sin of those inhabiting the earth, — 
hhuloke vartamananam papanivaranam ; but the passage 
is obscure. 

17. Planted His Foot.— This looks still more like 
an allusion to the fourth Avatara , although no mention 
is made of king Bali or the dwarf; and these may have 
been subsequent grafts upon the original tradition of 
Vishnu's three paces. Commentators are not agreed upon 
the meaning of the sentence, thrice he planted his step, — 
tredha nidadhe padam. According to Shakapurni , it was 
on earth, in the firmament, in heaven; according to 
Aurnavahha , on Samarohana or the eastern mountain, on 
Vishnupada the meridian sky, and Gayashiras the western 
mountain; thus identifying Vishnu with the Sun, and his 
three paces with the rise, culmination, and setting of 
that luminary. Allusion is made to the three paces of 
Vishnu in the Vajasaneyi Sanhita of the Yajur-Veda , and 
the Scholiast there explains them to imply the presence of 
Vishnu in the three regions of earth, air, and heaven, 
in the forms, respectively, of Agnt , Vayu , and Surya 9 fire, 
wind, and the sun. There can be no doubt that the 

Notes on Volume I 


expression was origjnally allegorical, and that it served as 
the groundwork of the Pauranik fiction of the Vamana or 
dwarf avatara . 

1 8. The Preserver. — Gopa, sarvasya jagato rakshaka , 
— the preserver of all the world, is the explanation of 
Sayana ; thus recognizing Vishnu's principal and distin- 
guishing attribute. 

20. Paramam padam , supreme degree or station. 
The Scholiast says Swarga, but that is very questionable. 

Page 28 

3. The attribution of a thousand* eyes to Indra , 
literally understood, is a Pauranik legend; it is nowhere 
said of Vayu , and here is applied to him, it is said, only 
by the grammatical construction, Sahasrakshau being in 
the dual, to agree with the two substantives Indra and 
Vayu; and it is probably stated of Indra , or the personified 
heaven, either to signify its expansiveness, or its being 
studded with constellations, whence it suggested the 
legend, in like manner, Manojava, swift as thought, 
although equally in the dual number, is properly appli- 
cable to Vayu only. 

5. Ritasya jyotishas-pati. Mitra and Varuna are 
included among the Adityas , or monthly suns, in the 
Vaidik enumeration of the eight sons of Aditi. Shrutyan- 
tare chashtau putraso aditerityupakramya mitrascha varuna - 
schetyadikam amnatam . 

8. The Maruts are styled Pusharatayah, of whom 
Pushan is the donor, or benefactor; in what way, is not 

10. Prishnimatarah; who have Prishni for their 
mother. According to Sayana , Prishni is £he- many-coloured 
earth, — nanavarnayukta bhuh. In the Nighantu , Prishni is 
a synonyme of sky, or heaven in general. In some texts, 
as Rosen shows, it occurs as a name of the*Sun. 


236 Rig-veda Translation 

12. Haskarad-vidyutah; the Scholiast explains the 
latter, variously shining, that is, the Antariksha or firma- 
ment; but it does not seem necessary to depart from the 
usual sense of Vidyut, lightning. 

Page 29 

14. The phrase is Guha-hitam, placed in a cave, or 
in a place difficult of access; or, according to the Scholiast, 
heaven, — guhasadrishe durgame dyuloke. 

15. Seasons. — The text has only shat, six; the 
Scholiast supplies vasantadin ritun, the seasons, — spring, 
and the rest. 

16. Ambayah, which may mean either, mothers, or 
waters, as in the Kaushitaki Brahmana, — Apo va ambayah. 

17. So in another text, A pah surye samahitah, the 
waters are collected in the Sun. 

19. Divine (Priests). — The term is Deva, gods; but 
this is incompatible with the direction to praise the 
waters; it is therefore explained, the Ritwij, and other 
Brahmanas; and the interpretation is defended by a text 
which calls the Brahmans present divinities, Ete, vai devah 
pratyaksham yad Brahmanah , — These deities, who are 
perceptibly (present), are the Brahmans. 

20. To Me. — To Medhatithi, the author of the 
hymn: the presidency of Soma over medicinal plants is 
generally attributed to him. The entrance of Agni into 
the water is noticed in many places; as, So apah pravishat, 
in the Taittiriya Brahmana: this, however, refers to a 
legend of Agni’s hiding himself through fear; it may 
allude to the subservience of water or liquids to digestion, 
promoting the internal or digestive heat, or Agni. 

* * Page 30 

23. Rasena samagasmahi; that is, the Scholiast 
says we have become associated with the essence of 
water, jalasarena sangatah smah. 

Notes on Volume I 


I. 6. 1 . — The gtory of Shunahshepas, or, as usually 
■written, Shunahshephas, has been for some time known 
to Sanskrit students through the version of it presented 
in the Ramayana, b. i. ch. 61, Schlegel: 63, Gorresio. 
He is there called the son of the Rishi Richika, and is sold 
for a hundred cows by his father to Ambarisha, king of 
Ayodhya , as a victim for a human sacrifice; on the road, 
he comes to the lake Pushkara, where he sees Vishwamitra, 
and implores his succour, and learns from him a prayer, 
by the repetition of which at the stake, Indra is induced 
to come and set him free. It is obvious that this story 
has been derived from the Veda, for Vishwamitra teaches 
him, according to Schlegel’s text, two Galhas, according 
to Gorresio’s, a mantra; but the latter also states, that 
he propitiated Indra by Richas; mantras of the Rig-Veda 
{Rigbhis-tushtava devendram), Vol. I, p. 249. Manu also 
alludes to the story (10. 105), where it is said that 
Ajigartta incurred no guilt by giving up his son to be 
sacrificed, as it was to preserve himself and family from 
perishing with hunger. Kullukabhatta names the son, 
Shunahshepas, and refers for his authority to the Bahvricha 
Brahmana. The story is told in full detail in the Aitareya 
Brahmana, but the Raja is named Harishchandra; he has 
no sons, and worships Varuna, in order to obtain a son, 
promising to sacrifice to him his first-born: he has a son 
in consequence, named Rohita; but when Varuna claims 
his victim, the king delays the sacrifice, under various 
pretexts, from time to time, until Rohita attains adoles- 
cence, when his father communicates to him the fate for 
which he was destined: Rohita refuses submission, and 
spends several years in the forests, away from home: he 
at last meets there with Ajigartta, a Rishi, in great distress, 
and persuades him to part with his second son Shunah- 
shepas, to be substituted for Rohita, as an offering to 


Rig-veda Translation 

Varuna: the bargain is concluded, apd Shunahshepas is 
about to be sacrificed, when, by the advice of Vishwamitra , 
one of the officiating priests, he appeals to the gods, and 
is ultimately liberated. The Aitareya Brahmana has 
supplied the commentator with the circumstances, which 
he narrates, as illustrative of the series of hymns in this 
section. Dr. Rosen doubts if the hymns bear any refer- 
ence to the intention of sacrificing Shunahshepas , but the 
language of the Brahmana is not to be mistaken, as 
Ajigqptta not only ties his son to the stake, but goes to 
provide himself 'with a knife, with which to slay him: 
at the same time, it must be admitted that the language 
of the Suktas is somewhat equivocal, and leaves the 
intention of an actual sacrifice open to question. The 
Bhagavata follows the Aitareya and Manu , in terming 
Shunahshepas the son of Ajigartta , and names the Raja 
also Harishchandra. In the Vishnu Purana , he is called 
the son of Vishwamitra , and is termed also Devarata , or 
god-given; but this relates to subsequent occurrences, 
noticed in like manner by the other authorities, in which 
he becomes the adopted son of Vishwamitra , and the eldest 
of all his sons; such of whom as refused to acknowledge 
his seniority being cursed to become the founders of 
various barbarian and outcaste races. Vishwamitra' s share 
in the legend may possibly intimate his opposition, and 
that of some of his disciples, to human sacrifices. 

Stanza 1 is supposed to be uttered by Shunahshepas 
when bound to the Yupa , or stake, as th e Purushah-pashuh t 
the man-animal (or victim), as the Bhagavata terms him. 
“Of whom” ( kasya ) may also be rendered, of Brahma or 
Prajapati , one .of. whose names in the Veda is Ka; as 
Ko ha vai nama Prajapatih. 

Aditi , according to Sayana , here means ‘earth’. 

2. A passage from the Aitareya Brahmana is cited 

Notes on Volume I 


by the Scholiast, jtating that Prajapati said to him 
{Shunahshepas), “Have recourse to Agni, who is the 
nearest of the gods”; upon which he resorted to AgnL 
Tam Prajapatiruvachagnirvai devanam nedishthastam evo- 
padhaveti: so Agnim upasctsara. 

3. In this and the two following stanzas, application 
is made to Savitri by the advice, it is said, of Agni, not, 
however, it may be remarked, for liberation, but for 
riches, a request rather irreconcilable with the supposed 
predicament in which Shunahshepas stands. 9 

Page 3 1 

6. Savitri refers Shunahshepas , it is said, to Varuna ... 
It is not very obvious why any comparison should be 
instituted between the strength and prowess of Varuna and 
of birds. 

7. The epithet of Raja is here, as usual, applied to 
Varuna ; and it may be either radiant or regal, but the 
latter is in general the more suitable. The attributes here 
assigned to Varuna , his abiding in the Antariksha , and his 
holding a bundle of rays, would rather identify him with 
the sun, or at least, refer to him in his character of an 
Aditya. The terms of the original are, however, unusual, 
and we depend for their translation upon the Scholiast: 
abudhne , in the baseless; mula-rahite , he explains, anta- 
rikshe , in the sky; and for vanasya stupam , he supplies 
tejasah , or radiance, and sangham, a heap. 

8. According to the commentator the sun’s course 
north and south of the equator is here alluded to: he 
does not explain what Varuna has to do with it. 

9. According to Sayana, Nirriti is the deity of sin, 
Papa-devata. In the Nighantu , it occurs among the 
synonymes of earth. 

10. Here again we have unusual functions ascribed 
to Varuna: the constellations, Rikshah , may bfe either, 


Rig- veda Translation 

it is said, the seven Rishis, Ursa Majqr, or the constella- 
tions generally. They and the moon are said to be the 
pious acts of Varum ( Varunasya vratani), because they 
shine by his command. Rosen detaches adabhani vratani 
by inserting a verb, — illcesa sunt opera Vurunce; but 
Sayana expressly terms the constellations the acts of 
Varuna, in the form (or effect) of the appearance, etc., 
of the asterisms. Varunasya karmani nakshatra-darshanadi- 

41. That (Life). — The text has only, I ask that; 
the Scholiast supplies life, tadayus. The addition might 
be disputed; but its propriety is confirmed by the con- 
cluding expression, ma na ayuh pramoshih, do not take 
away our life. 

Page 32 

13. Trishu dru-padeshu. Druh, a tree, is here said to 
mean the sacrificial post, a sort of tripod; its specification 
is consistent with the popular legend. 

14. Averter of Misfortune. — The text has, asura, 
which is interpreted, anishta-kshepam-shila, accustomed 
to cast off what is undesired; from the root as, to throw: 
it is an unusual sense of the word, but it would scarcely 
be decorous to call Varuna an asura. 

15. The text has, uttamam-adharmm madhyamam 
pasham uchchhrathaya, loosen the upper, lower, and 
middle bond; meaning, according to Sayana, the ligature 
fastening the head, the feet, and the waist; the result, 
however, is not loosening from actual bonds, but from 
those of sin: anagasah syama, may we be sinless. 

4. Vasya ishtaye. The first, according to the 
Scholiast, is equivalent to vasumatah, precious; that is, 
jivasya, life, understood. 

5. Uru-chakshasam, is explained, bahunam drashta- 
ram, the ‘beholder of many. 

Notes on Volume I 


Page 33 

7. Here we have the usual functions of Vanina 

8. Veda ya upajayate , who knows what is upa, 
additionally or subordinately, produced. The expression 
is obscure, but, in connection with the preceding, Veda 
maso dwadasha, who knows the twelve months, we cannot 
doubt the correctness of the Scholiast’s conclusion, that 
the thirteenth, the supplementary or intercalary month 
of the Hindu lunisolar year, is alluded to; ‘*that 
thirteenth or additional month which is produced of 
itself, in connection with the year," -yas trayodasho adhika- 
masa upajayate samvatsarasamipe swayam evotpadyate. 
The passage is important, as indicating the concurrent 
use of the lunar and solar years at this period, and the 
method of adjusting the one to the other. 

10. Anishasada pastyasu; the commentator explains 
the latter, daivishu prajasu, divine progeny; Rosen trans- 
lates it, inter homines; M. Langlois, au sein de nos 
demeureb; Dr. Roer, among his subjects. The sovereignty 
of Varuna, samrajyam, is distinctly specified. 

13. Bibhrad drapim hiranyayam, that is, suvarna- 
mayam kavacham, armour or mail made of gold. This 
looks as if the person of Varuna were represented by an 
image ; the same may be said of the phraseology 
of 18. 

Page 34 

21. The expressions are, for the most part, the same 
as in the concluding verse of the preceding hymn; but 
it ends differently; jivase, to live, — that we may live. 

1. The text has only vastrani, clothes; meaning, the 
Scholiast says, achhadakani tejansi, investing radiance. 

4. Aryaman is an Aditya, a form of the»month!y 
sun; he is said also to presidg over twilight. 


Rig-veda Translation 

Manushah, of Manus, who, the Scholiast says, is the 
same as Mam, the Prajapati. 

5. Purvya Hotri, the Hotri born before us, according 
to Sayana. 

Page 35 

10. Sahaso yaho; Balasya putra, son of strength; 
the epithet is not unfrequently repeated, and is sometimes 
applied to Indra also; as applicable to Agni, it is said to 
allude to the strength required for rubbing the sticks 
together, so as to generate fire. 

1. The comparison is merely, we praise thee like a 
horse with a tail; the particulars are supplied by the 

Page 36 

4. Navyansam gayatram, most new Gayatri verses; 
showing the more recent composition of this Sukta. 

5. In the supreme, in the middle, and, of the end, 
are the vague expressions of the text; their local appro- 
priation is derived from the commentary. 

6. A common denominative of Agni, he who has 
wonderful or various lustre; the following simile is very 
elliptically and obscurely expressed, but such seems to be 
its purport, according to the explanation of the Scholiast. 

10. He who is awakened < bodha ) by praise ( jara ). 

Terrible. — The text has to Rudra ( Rudraya ), which 
the Scholiast explains, to the fierce or cruel Agni; kruraya 

12. As a rich man {Re van iva ) is the whole of the 
text; the commentator suggests all the rest of the com- 

13. These distinctions of older and younger, greater 
and lesser gods, are nowhere further explained. Shunah- 
shepas, i{ is said, worships the Vishwadevas, by the advice 
of Agni. 

Notes on Volume I 


Page 37 

1. The stone* or rather here, perhaps, the stone 
pestle, is that which is used to bruise the Soma plants, 
and so express the juice: the pestle employed in bruising 
or threshing grain is usually of heavy wood. 

Adhishavanya , two shallow plates or paterce , for 
receiving and pouring out the Soma juice. 

3. The Scholiast explains the terms of the text, 
apachyava and upachyava , going in and out of the hall 
(shala); but it should, perhaps, rather be, moving up 
and down, with reference to the action, of the pestle. 

4. In churning, in India, the stick is moved by a 
rope passed round the handle of it, and round a post 
planted in the ground as a pivot; the ends of the rope 
being drawn backwards and forwards by the hands of 
the churner, gives the stick a rotatory motion amidst the 
milk, and thus produces the separation of its component 

5. The mortar is usually a heavy wooden vessel, 
found in every farmer’s cottage; according to Sayana 9 it 
is the divinities presiding over the mortar and pestle, not 
the implements themselves, that are addressed. 

6. Vanaspati , a large tree; but in this verse put by 
metonymy for the mortar, and in verse 8, for the mortar 
and pestle. 

Page 38 

9. This verse is addressed, the Scholiast says, to 
Harishchandra , either the ministering priest, or a certain 
divinity so named; no name occurs in the text. It is not 
very clear what he is to do: apparently, he is to place 
what remains after the libation has been offered, contained 
in patera or platters, upon some veSsd, — the Scholiast 
says, upon a cart {shakatasya upari ), and having brought 
it away, cast it upon the Pavitra , which is e^lained in 


Rig-veda Translation 

the comment on the Yajurveda Sanhita to mean, two or 
three blades of Kusha grass, serving Ss a kind of filter, 
typically, if not effectively, through which the juice falls 
upon a sheet, or into a bag of leather, made of the skin 
of the cow ( goh-twachi ). According to Mr. Stevenson, 
the Soma juice, after expression, is filtered through a 
strainer made of goat’s hair, and is received in a sort of 
ewer, the drona kalasha; here, however, the directions 
apply to the Uchchhishta, the remainder, or leavings; 
such being the term used in the text. 

R 6. 6. — Shumhshepas has been directed by the 
Vishwadevas, it is said in the Brahmana, to apply to Indra. 

2. Handsome. — Shiprin , literally, having either a 
nose or a lower jaw or chin; that is, having a handsome 
prominent nose or chin. 

3. The text is very elliptical and obscure; it is 

literally, “Put to sleep the two reciprocally looking; let 
them sleep, not being awakened.” That two females are 
intended, is inferable from the epithets being in the dual 
number and feminine gender; and the Scholiast calls 
them, upon what authority is not stated, two Yemale 
messengers of Yama: Yamadutyau. Mithudrisha, he 

explains, mithunataya yugatarupena pashyata, looking, 
after the manner of twins, at each other. 

5. Nuvantam-papayamuya, praising with this speech 
that is of the nature of abuse. Nindarupaya vacha, is the 
addition of the Scholiast, who adds, therefore is he called 
an ass, as braying or uttering harsh sounds intolerable to 
hear: Yatha gardabhah shrotum ashakyam parusham 

shabdam karoti. 

Page 40 

11. With projecting Jaws. — The expression in the 
text is Shiprininam , gen. plur. of the feminine Shiprini, 
having a nqse or a jaw; it cannot therefore refer to the 

Notes on Volume I 


previous nouns in the gen. plur., Somapanam and Sakhi- 
nam, which are male.; and the Scholiast therefore supplies- 
gavant, of cows and adds samuha, a multitude, or herd. 

14. Dhrishnu. — The resolute, or firm, or high- 
spirited, an appellative of Indra. 

The verse is, throughout, very elliptical and obscure, 
and is intelligible only through the liberal additions of 
the Scholiast. The simile is, literally, like the axle of 
two cars, — aksham na chakryoh, which the commentator 
renders, rathasya chakrayoh, of the two wheels of a car, 
and adds prakshipanti, they cast or. turn over. * The 
phrase seems to have puzzled the translators; Rosen has, 
currum velut duabus rotis; Stevenson, that blessings may 
come round to them with the same certainty that the 
wheel revolves round the axle; Dr. Roer, as a wheel is 
brought to a chariot ; M. Langlois, que les autres dieux T 
non moins que toi, sensibles a nos louanges, soient pour 
nous comme Vaxe qui soutient et fait tourner les roues du 
char ; the meaning intended is, probably, the hope that 
blessings should follow praise as the pivot on which they 
revolve, as the revolutions of the wheels of a car turn 
upon the axle. 

15. This repetition of the comparison is more obscure 
than in the preceding stanza; it is like the axle by the 
acts, — aksham na shachibhih. The Scholiast defines ‘the 
acts’, the movements of the car or waggon. 

16. So the Brahmana. By Indra pleased, a golden 
chariot was given to him, that is, to Shunahshepas; he 
nevertheless hands him over to the Ashwins. 

Page 41 

19. There is no explanation of this myth in th& 
commentary; it may be connected' with the Pauranik 
notion of the single wheel of the chariot of the sun. — 
Vishnu Parana, p. 217. 


Rig-veda Translation 

20. Ushas. — The dawn; daughter of the personified 
heaven, or its deity, Dyudevatayah duhitri. Rosen trans- 
lates the name Aurora , but it seems preferable to keep 
the original denomination, as, except in regard to time, 
there is nothing in common between the two. In the 
Vishnu Purana, indeed, Usha, a word of similar derivation 
as Ushas, is called night, and the dawn is Vyushta. 
Several passages seem to indicate that Usha, or Ushas, is 
the time immediately preceding daybreak. 

22. We here take leave of Shunahshepas, and it must 
be Confessed, that for the greater part there is, in the 
hymns ascribed to him, little connection with the legend 
narrated in the Ramayana and other authorities. 

1. According to Say ana, he was the first, as being 
the progenitor of all the Angirasas; they being, according 
to the Brahmana, as before quoted, nothing more than 
the coals or cinders of the sacrificial fire. There is no 
explanation of the origin assigned in this verse to the 

2. Manifold. — Vibhu, according to the Scholiast, 
means, of many kinds; alluding to the different fires of 
a sacrifice. 

Of Two Mothers. — Dwimata, either of two mothers, 
i.e., the two sticks, or the maker of two, i.e., heaven and 

3. Pre-eminent over the Wind. — Literally, first in, 
-or on, or over the wind, — prathamo matarishwane; allud- 
ing, according to the Scholiast, to the text, ag/tirvayur- 
adityah, fire, air, sun, in which Agni precedes Vayu. 

Page 42 

4. It is said that Agni explained to Manu that 
heaven was to be gained by pious works. 

The agency of Pururavas, the son of Budha, the son 
of Soma, i,n the generation of fire by attrition, and its 

Notes on Volume I 


employment in the form of three sacrificial fires, as told 
in the Puranas ( Vishnu Parana, p. 397), may be here - 
alluded to; but the phrase is only Sukrite sukrittarah, 
doing more good to him who did good. 

The fire is first applied to kindle the Ahavaniya fife, 
and then to the Garhapatya, according to the Scholiast. 

5. Who Fully Understands the Invocation. — He 
who knows the Ahuti, with the Vashat kriti, or utterance 
of the word Vashat at the moment of pouring the butter 
on the fire. 

7. Both Kinds of Birth. — It is not very cleai»what 
is meant; the expression is, who is very desirous or 
longing for both births. The Scholiast says, for the 
acquirement of bipeds and quadrupeds, — dwipadam cha- 
tushpadam labhaya. 

9. The parents are here said to be heaven and 

Page 43 

11. Nahusha was the son of Ay us, son of Pururavas, 
who was elevated to heaven as an Indra, until precipitated 
thence? for his arrogance. The circumstance alluded to 
in the text does not appear in the Pauranik narrative. — 
Vishnu Parana, page 413. 

When the Son of My Father was Born. — This 
circumstance is not related, in the Puranas, of Ila, the 
daughter of Vaivaswata Manu. — Vishnu Parana, page 349. 
Frequent passages in the Vedas ascribe to Ila the first 
institution of the rules of performing sacrifices; thus in 
the text she is termed Shasani, which the Scholiast 
explains dharmopadeshakartri, the giver of instruction in 
duty. The Taittiriyas are quoted for the text, “Ida, the 
daughter of Manu, was the illustrator of sacrifice” 
(yajnanukashini); and the Vajasaneyis for the passage: 
“She, Ila , said to Manu, ‘Appoint me to_ officiate in 


Rig-veda Translation 

sacrifices, principal and supplementary, for by me shaft 
thou obtain all they desires.’” — Prayajdnuyajanam madhye 
mam avakalpaya maya sarvan avapsyasi kamam. M. 
Burnouf questions if Ila ever occurs in the sense of 
daughter of Mam in the Vedas, and restricts its meaning 
to ‘earth’ or to ‘speech’. The passage of the text, Ilam 
akrinwan manushasya shasinim, he translates, les dieux ont 
fait d'lla la preceptrice de Vhomme , and considers it 
equivalent to, les dieux ont fait de la parole Vinstitutrice 
de Vhomme. — Introduction to the Blwgavata Purana, III. 
pp. uxxxiv-xci. .We are scarcely yet in possession of 
materials to come to a safe conclusion on this subject. 

12. We must conclude that this hymn was composed 
by the author in his old age, as he speaks of his grandson- 

13. Four-eyed Agni. — Illuminating the four cardinal 

14. This is said to allude to a legend, in which the 
gods, intending to offer a sacrifice, were at a loss to 
determine the cardinal points, until the perplexity was 
removed by Agni's ascertaining the south. 

15. Varma syutam, sewn armour. The kavach'a was, 
perhaps, a quilted jacket, such as is still sometimes worn; 
the Scholiast says, formed with needles without leaving 
a fissure. 

Page 44 

Performs the Sacrifice of Life. — The expression is 
rather ambiguous,— jiva-yajam yajate, sacrifices a life- 
sacrifice. Rosen renders it, vivam hostiam mactat; but 
in this place it seems rather to denote an offering (food 
and hospitality) to a living being, the Nri-vajna, worship* 
of man, of Manu. The expression, however, is not 
incompatible with' the practice of killing a cow for the 
food of a guest, thence denominated, as M. Langlois. 
remarks, goghna, a cow-slayer. The Scholiast sanctions. 

Notes on Volume I 


either sense, explaining the phrase either jivayajanasahitam 
yajnam , a sacrifice with sacrifice of life, or jivanishpadyam , 
that by which life is to be supported; he also explains 
Jivayajam by jivah, living, priests, who ijyante dakshina - 
bhih , are worshipped by gifts. 

16. Visible to. — Rishikrit, becoming present through 
desire for the offered oblation: the epithet is an unusual 

17. In like manner as ancient patriarchs, such as 
Manu or Angiras , or former kings, repaired to different 
places where sacrifices were celebrated.. Yayati was# one 
of the sons of Nahusha . — Vishnu Purana , page 413. 

1. In this and subsequent Suktas , we have an ample 
elucidation of the original purport of the legend of Indra's 
slaying Vritra , converted by the Pauranik writers into a 
literal contest between Indra and an Asura , or chief of 
the Asuras , from what in the Vedas is merely an allegorical 
narrative of the production of rain. Vritra , sometimes 

also named Ahi 9 is nothing more than the accumulation 
of vapour condensed, or figuratively, shut up in, or 
obstructed by a cloud, indra , with his thunderbolt, or 
atmospheric or electrical influence, divides the aggregated 
mass, and vent is given to the rain, which then descends 
upon the earth, and moistens the fields, or passes of in 

rivers. The language of the Ric has is not. always suffi- 

— ’ " 

. cien tly d istinc t and confounds metaphorical and literal 
representation, but it never approximates to that unquali- 
fied strain of personification, which, beginning apparently 
with the Mahabharata ( Vana Parva, ch. 100; also in 
other Parvas), became the subject of extravagant amplifi- 
cation by the compilers of the Puranas. 

3. Triple Sacrifice.— At the Trlkadrukas; the three 
sacrifices termed Jyotish, Gauh, and Ayu. No further 
description of them occurs in the commentary^ 


Rig-veda Translation 

Page 45 

4.. First-born of the CLOuDS.*-The first-formed 

By scattering the clouds and dispersing the darkness, 
Indra may be said to be the parent of the sun and 
daylight; leaving no enemy, that is, nothing to obscure 
the atmosphere. 

5. We have here, and in other verses, both names, 
Ahi and Vritra; they are both given as synonymes of 
Megha, a cloud, in the Nighantu: the former is derived 
fron adtan, to strike, with a prefixed, arbitrarily shortened 
to a; thb latter, lit. the encompasser or concealer, is from 
vri, to enclose, or vrit, to be, or to exist, or from vriddh, 
to increase; a choice of etymologies intimating a vague 
use of the term. He is said to be vyansha, having a part, 
or metaphorically a limb, detached, thus confounding 
things with persons, as is still more violently done in 
a following verse, where he is said to have neither hands 
nor feet. 

6. Has Crushed the Rivers. — The text has only 
Rujanah pipishe, he has ground the rivers; the coifiment- 
ator supplies, the banks, which he says were broken down 
by the fall of Vritra, that is, by the inundation occasioned 
by the descent of the rain. 

9. Danu is derived from do, to cut or destroy, or 
from Danu, the wife of Kashyapa, and mother of the 
Danavas or Titans. 

Page 46 

11. The Wives of the Destroyer. — Dasa-patnyah; 

the first is said to be a name of Vritra, as the destroyer 
of all things, or all holy acts, — he who dasayati 
karmani. ' ' 

12. Like a Horse’s Tail. — We have had this simile 
before; as a horse lashes his tail to get rid of the flies. 

Notes on Volume I 


Thou hast won the Soma Juice. — Alluding, it is said, 
to a legend of Indra' f having drunk a libation prepared 
by Twashtri, after the death of his son, who, according 
to a Pauranik legend, was Trishiras, also killed by Indra , 
and to avenge which, Vritra was created by Twashtri. 

Seven Rivers. — According to one Pauranik legend, 
the Ganges divided on its descent into seven streams, 
termed the Nalini, Pavani, and Hladini, going to the east; 
the Chakshu, Sita, and Sindhu, to the west; and the 
Bhagirathi or Ganges proper, to the south. In one place 
in the Mahabharata , the seven rivers are teamed Vaswauka- 
sara, Nalini, Pavani, Ganga, Sita, Sindhu, and Jambunadi; 
in another, Ganga, Yamuna, Plakshaga, Rathastha , Sarayu, 
Gomati, and Gandaki. In a text quoted and commented 
on by Yaska, we have ten rivers, named Ganga, Yamuna, 
Saraswati, Shatudri, Parushni, Asikni, Marudvridha, Vitasta, 
Arjikiya, and Sushoma; of these, the Parushni is identified 
with the Iravati, the Arjiki with the Vipasha, and the 
Sushoma with the Sindhu . — Nir. 3. 26. The original 
enumeration of seven appears to be that which has given 
rise to th*e specifications of the Puranas. 

14. When Fear entered Indra. — The Scholiast 
intimates that this fear was the uncertainty whether he 
should destroy Vritra, or not; but in the Puranas, Indra 
is represented as fearing his enemy’s prowess, and hiding 
himself in a lake: something like this is also intimated 
in other passages of the text; whence the Pauranik fiction. 
The Brahmana and the Taittiriya are quoted, as stating 
that Indra, after killing Vritra, thinking he had committed 
a sin, fled to a great distance. 

Page 47 

1. This is all the text says: the Scholiast adds, “The 
gods are supposed to say this to one another when their 
cows have been carried off.” , 


Rig-veda Translation 

3. Arya, here explained Swamin, master, owner, 
lord, — meaning, Indra. * 

Like a Dealer. — Literally do not be to us a Pani, a 
trafficker; such being one sense of the term; from Pan a, 
price, hire. Indra is solicited not to make a hard 
bargain, not to demand too much from his wor- 

vX4. Barbarian. — Vritra, the Dasyu, literally a robber, 
but apparently used in contrast to Arya, as if intending 
the uncivilized tribes of India. He is called wealthy, 
because, according to the VajQsaneyis, he comprehends 
within Him all gods, all knowledge, all oblations, — 
Vritrasya antah sarve devah sarvashcha vidyah sarvani 
havinshi chasan. 

The Maruts at Hand. — So the Brahmana. The 
Maruts who accompanied Indra did not attack Vritra, 
but they stood nigh and encouraged the former, saying, 
“Strike, O Lord; show thyself a hero”. 

Sanakas. — The followers of Vritra are called by this 
name, the meaning of which is not very satisfactorily 
explained by Sanan-kayanti, they who eulogize bene- 
factors; they are also called, in this and the next verse, 
Ayajwanas, non-sacrificers, in contrast to the Yajwams 
or sacrifices; here apparently also identifying the follow- 
ers of Vritra with races who had not adopted, or were 
hostile to, the ritual of the Vedas. 

6. Kshitayah navagvah, men whose practices were 
commendable; or the ‘men’, it is said, may be the 
Angirasas engaged in offering libations to Indra for nine 
months, in order to give him courage. 

Page 48 

8. We revert* here to the allegory. The followers of 
Vritra are here said to be the shades of night, which are 
dispersed by the rising of the sun; according to the 

Notes on Volume I 253 

Brahmana, “Verily the sun, when he rises in the east, 
drives away the Rakshasas" . 

9. This passage is rather obscure, owing to the 
vague purport of the preposition abhi; amanyamanan abhi 
manyamanair brahmabhih, with prayers to be understood 
over those not understanding; that is, according to the 
Scholiast, those Yajamanas, or institutors of sacrifices, 
who merely repeat the mantras without understanding 
their meaning, are nevertheless to be protected by, or are 
to reap the benefit of those mantras; and with mantras 
or prayers of this description Indra is to Be animated, *or 
empowered to blow away or scatter the followers of 
Vritra, clouds and darkness. Rosen renders the expres- 
sion, carminibus respicientibus eos qui tuorum hymnorum 
sensum non perspiciunt; M. Langlois has {excite) contre 
ces mecreans par nos chants respectueux. 

Shringinam shushnam, the first, literally, having horns, 
the Scholjast explains, furnished with weapons like the 
horns of bulls and buffaloes. Shushnam, literally drying, 
drying up, is applied to Vritra or the cloud, as withholding 
the moisture necessary for fertility. 

Page 49 

14. Kutsa is said to be a Rishi, founder of a Gotra, 
a religious family or school, and is elsewhere spoken of 
as the particular friend of Indra, or even as his son; he 
is the reputed author of several hymns: we have a 
Purukutsa in the Puranas, but he was a Raja, the son of 
Mandhatri. — Vishnu Purana, p. 363. Dashadyuh is also 
called a Rishi; but he appears to have been a warrior: 
no mention of him is found in the Puranas. The same 
may be said of Shwaitreya, or Shwitryq, the son of a 
female termed Shwitra. Shwitrya is described in the next 
stanza as having hidden himself in a pool of water, 
.through fear of his enemies. » 

254 Rig-veda Translation 

1. We have a variety of changes rung in this hymn 
upon the number ‘three’. In this place, allusion, it is 
said, is made either to the three diurnal sacrifices, at dawn, 
mid-day, and sunset, or to the faculty of all divinities, of 
being tripathagah, or going equally through the heavens, 
the firmament, and the earth. 

2. The Ashwins are said to have filled their Ratha, 
or car, with all sorts of good things when they went to 
the marriage of Vena with Soma, — a legend not found in 
the Puranas. 

* So the Scholiast explains Skambhasah skabhitasa 
arabhe, posts standing up from the body of the car, which 
the riders may lay hold of, if by its rapid or uneven 
motion they should be afraid of falling out. 

Page 50 

6. Shanyu is said to be the son of Brihaspati, brought 
up by the Ashwins. 

Three Humours. — The text has only tri-dhatu, the 
aggregate of three humours, said by the Scholiast, agree- 
ably to medical writers, to denote wind, bile, and phlegm. 

7. Nasatyas. — T hey in whom there is' not {na) 
untruth (asatya). 

The Threefold. — The text has only, “to the three”; 
the Scholiast adds “altars, severally appropriated to 
oblations of ghee, to animal sacrifices, and to libations of 
Soma," — Aishtikapashukasaumikarupa vedih. 

8. Ganga and the other rivers are here considered 
as the parents of the water which rolls in their streams. 

Three Rivers. — Three sorts of jars or pitchers, used 
to contain and pour out the Soma juice at the three daily 

Page 51 

Night and Day. — Inasmuch as the rising and setting 
of the «un indicate the arrival of both day and night. 

Notes on Volume I 255 

In what way the Ashwins are of service to the luminary, 
does not appear. * 

9. The apex of the car is in front, the base is the 
back part, forming three angles. The text has only 
trivrito rathasya, which the Scholiast interprets tribhir- 
ashribhir-upetasya rathasya. 

The text has Rasabha , a synonyme of Gardabha, an 
ass; according to the Nighantu, there is a pair of them: 
rasabhavashwinoh, two asses are the steeds of the Ashwins. 

10. Wonderful Car. — Implying that the Ashwins 
are to be worshipped with this hymn at'dawn. 

11. Thrice Eleven Divinities. — This is authority 
for the usual Pauranik enumeration of thirty-three deities, 
avowedly resting on Vaidik texts. The list is there made 
up of the eight Vasus, eleven Rudras, twelve Adityas , 
Prajapati, and Vashatkara ( Vishnu Purana, p. 123 and 
note); but the Scholiast intimates a different classification, 
or the threefold repetition of eleven divinities, agreeably 
to the text: “Ye eleven deities who are in heaven,” — 
Ye divaso divyekadasha stha. 

Page 52 

3. That is, ascending from sunrise to the meridian, 
and then declining. 

5. The horses of Savitri are here termed Sayava, 
which properly signifies the brown; but in verse 3 they 
have been called ‘white’; the present must be therefore 
a proper name, unless the hymner contradicts himself. 

6. The spheres or lokas which lie in the immediate 

path of the sun are said to be heaven and earth; the 
intermediate loka, Antariksha, or firmament, is described 
as the road to the realm of Yama, the xuler of the dead, 
by which the pretah, or ghosts, travel. Why this should 
not be considered equally the course of the sun, is not 
very obvious. * 


Rjg-veda Translation 

The Immortal (Luminaries).— The text has only 
Amrita, the immortals; the Scholiast supplies the moon 
and constellations, or, in another acceptation, the rains; 
Amrita having for one meaning, water. 

7. Suparna, the well-winged, is in the Nighantu a 
synonyme of rashmi, a ray: one of its epithets, asura, is 
here explained life-giving; from asu, vital breath, and ra, 
who gives. 

Where Now is Surya ? etc. — T his is supposed to be 
said of the sun before dawn, while he is absent. 

Page 53 

9. Approaches the Sun. — Suryam abhiveti. The 
Scholiast endeavours to explain this by observing, that 
although Savitri and Surya are the same as regards their 
divinity, yet they are two different forms, and therefore 
one may go to the other; yadyeva tayor ekadevatatwam 
tathapi murttibhedena gantrigantavya-bhavah. 

Page 54 

4. Aryaman is here explained, he who measures or 
estimates properly the Aryas, Aryan mimite. 

5. Messenger of the Gods. — Rosen has, nuntius 
hominum, which agrees better with the order of the text, 
duto visham asi; but Sayana connects visham with what 
in the original precedes, grihapati, lord of the dwelling, 
and explains duta, by devaduta. 

7. With (Seven) Priests.— The Scholiast supplies 
“the seven”. According to another text, sapta hotrah 
prachir vashat-kurvanti, the seven principal priests pour 
out the oblation. According to Mr. Stevenson, the seven 
priests or assistants at the Soma Yaga are, — 1. The insti- 
tutor, or Yajamapa; 2. The Hotri, who repeats the hymns 
of the Rich; 3. The Udgatri, who chants the Santa; 

4. The Potri, who prepares the materials for the oblation; 

5. The Neshtri, who pours it on the fire; 6. The Brahma , 

Notes on Volume I 


who superintends the whole; and 7. The Rakshas, who 
guards the door. This enumeration omits one of the 
principal performers, the Adhwaryu, who recites the 
formulae of the Yajush, and who should probably take 
the place of the Yajamana. The others, except the last, 
are also included among the sixteen. 

8. Krandad-ashwo gavishtishu, like a horse making 
a noise in wishes for cattle. The Scholiast adds, sangra- 
meshu, in battles, having for their object the wish to win 
cattle, — govishayechhyukteshu. The relation of the simile 
to Agni is somewhat obscure. 

10. The Host of Pious Guests. — Medhyatithi, 
attended by venerable ( medhya ) guests ( atithi ), is here an 
epithet of Kanwa, whose son has been before introduced 
as Medhatithi, the Rishi of the twelfth and following 

Page 55 

13. Agni, as erect, is here said to be identified with 
the Yupa, or post, to which the victims at a sacrifice of 
animals are bound; and, according to Ashwalayana, this 
and the ilext verse are to be recited on such occasions 
at the time of setting up the post. 

16. With a Club. — The text has only ghana, with 
a club; the Scholiast adds, the pottery, bhandadi. 

18. Nothing more is said of the persons named in 
this verse than that they were Rajarshis, royal sages. 
Turvasha may be another reading of Turvasu who, with 
Yadu, was a son of Yayati, of the lunar race. We have 
several princes in the Puranas of the name of Brihadratha, 
but the others are exclusively Vaidik. 

Page 56 

1. Kanwas may mean either the 'members of the 
Gotra, the family or school of Kanwa, or simply sages or 
priests. , 


Rig-veda Translation 

Without Horses. — The phrase is Artarvanam , which 
the Scholiast explains, bhratrivya-rah ftam , literally, without 
a brother’s son, which would be a very unintelligible 
epithet. Arvan is, in its usual acceptation, a horse; and 
being without horses would not be inapplicable to the 
Maruts* whose chariot is drawn by deer. Bhratrivya has 
for one sense that of enemy; whence Rosen renders the 
expression of the text, hostium immune m , and M. Langlois 
inattaquable ; but it is doubtful if arvan can admit of such 
an interpretation. 

c 2. Vashibhih , with sounds or speeches; i.e.* according 
to the Scholiast, with cries terrifying the enemy’s army; 
vashi is a synonyme of vach , speech, voice, in the Nighantu. 

4. Devattam-hrahma* the praise or prayer which 
recommends the oblation, obtained from the favour of 
instruction of the gods. 

5. The text has goshu-marutam , the tribe of Maruts 
among the cows; another text is cited, which says the 
Maruts were born of milk for Prishni , — Prishniyai vai 
payaso mar Utah, 

The passage is brief and obscure, — jambhb rasasya 
vavridhe , which is explained, their vigour, derived from or 
of the milk, was increased (either) in enjoyment or in the 
belly, — gokshirarupasya sambandhi tat tejo jambhe sukhe 
udare va vriddham abhut. Rosen renders it, in utero lactis 
vires augentur; M. Langlois has, qui regnent au milieu des 
vaches ( celestes ) et ouvre avec force ( leurs ) ma me lies pour 
en faire couler le lait. The cows he considers the clouds, 
and the milk the rain; but it is the shardhas , the tejas, 
the vigour or strength of the Maruts , which has been 
augmented in or by, not exerted upon, the rasa or milk. 
r * Page 57 

7. The text has only manusho dadhre , the man has 
planted; c the Scholiast explains the former, grihaswamU 

Notes on Volume I 


the roaster of the Ijouse, and adds to the latter, griha- 
■dadhyartham dridham stambham, a strong post to give 
stability to the dwelling. 

Page 58 

3. The expressions of the text, sumna, suvita, and 
saubhaga, are said to imply, severally, offspring and cattle, 
jewels and gold, and horses, elephants, and the like. 

4. Sons of Prishni. — Prishni-matarah, as we have 
before; but Prishni is here explained by the Scholiast by 
Dhenu, a milch-cow. 

6. Nirriti. — He is here called a* divinity of the 
Rakshasa race. 

7. Rudriyasah; Rudrasya ime, those who are of or 
belonging to Rudra; explained Rudrena palitah, cherished 
or protected by Rudra; for the explanation of which, 
reference is made to the Akhyanas, tales or traditions. 
There is no connection between Rudra and the Maruts 
in the Puranas. 

Page 59 

13., Brahmanaspati. — The lord of the mantra or 
prayer, of the sacrificial food. 

4. Rudrasah; Rudra-putrah, sons of Rudra, figura- 
tively, perhaps, as having been protected by him, as 
intimated in the preceding hymn. 

Page 60 

6. The spotted deer, Prishati, are always specified 
as the steeds of the Maruts. We then have in the text, 
prashtirvahati rohita; prashtih is said to be a sort of yoke, 
in the middle of three horses or other animals, harnessed 
in a car; but the word stands alone, without any gramma- 
tical concord, and it does not appear ,wfyat is to be done 
with the yoke. Rohita, the Scholiast says, is another 
kind of deer, the red deer, who, vahati, bears or drags 
the car, ratham nayati. The sense may be ‘something 


Rig-veda Translation 

like that which is given in the translation, but the con- 
struction of the original is obscure, and apparently rude 
and ungrammatical. 

9. Prachetas. — O r the appellative may be an 
epithet only implying those possessed of superior (pra) 
intellect ( chetas ■). 

1. In a former passage, Brahmanaspati appeared as 
a form of Agni; in this hymn he is associated with the 
Maruts, although Indra is also separately named. 

4 2. Son of Strength. — Sahasasputra. Similar 

epithets, as Satiaso yahu and Sunuh sahasah, have been 
applied to Agni (Hymn I. 6. 3. 10 and I. 6. 4. 2); the 
Scholiast, however, interprets the compound, in this 
place, the great or abundant protector of strength, — 
balasya bahupalaka, such being one of the meanings of 
pntra given in the Nirukta: putrah puru trayate; where, 
however, that meaning is only the etymological explana- 
tion of putra , a son. — Nirukta , 2, 11. 

Page 61 

3. Devi sunrita, the goddess of speech, Vak devata, 
in the form of lover of truth; priyasatyarupa, a form of 

4. Manoh putri, the daughter of Manu and insti- 
tutrix of sacrifices. Looking upon Brahmanaspati as the 
presiding divinity of prayer or sacrifice, allusions to Ila 
were not wholly out of place: why she should be suvira, 
if that be rightly explained sobhanair-virair-bhatair-yukta, 
accompanied by excellent heroes, does not appear. 

5. This and the next verse are directed to be recited 
at the Agnishtoma ceremony, in connection with prayers 
addressed to Indra and the Maruts. Professor Roth cites 
it in proof of his theory, that Brahmanaspati is in an 
especial manner the divinity of prayer, which is not 
incompatible with his being identical with either Agni or 

Notes on Volume I 


Indra, in the same capacity. He recites, it is said, aloud 
( pravadati ) the prayer (mantra), which ought to be so 
recited (ukthya) by the mouth, according to the Scholiast, 
of the Hotri ; in which mantra , Indra and the rest abide, 
or are mystically present; or, as explained in the com- 
mentary on the next stanza, it is the mantra or prayer 
that generates or brings them to the presence of the 
worshipper, — Indradi-sarvadevatapratipadakam mantram. 

8. Armed with the Thunderbolt. — This attribute 

would identify him with Indra, in which character he 
appears throughout this hymn. » 

Page 62 

I. 8. 6. — In fact, the hymn may be considered as 
wholly addressed to the Adityas, for the three deities 
separately named are in one of their characters Adityas 
also; that is, they were the sons of Aditi, the wife of 
Kashyapa, and are representatives of the sun in as many 
months of the year. 

9. Holding the Four (Dice). — The text has only 
chaturaschid dadamanad vibhiyad-a-nidhatoh, he may fear 
from one holding four until the fall. The meaning is 
supplied by the Scholiast, with the assistance of Yaska, 
chatura akshan dharayatah kitavat, from a gambler holding 
four dice; Sayana says, four cowri shells, — kapardakah; 
that is, where two men are playing together, the one who 
has not the throw of the dice or the shells is in anxious 
apprehension lest it should be against him. 

Page 63 

I. 8. 7. — Pushan is usually a synonyme of the sun; 
that is, he is one of the twelve Adityas. He is described 
by the Scholiast as the presiding deity of the earth, — 
prithivyabhimani devah; he is also the cherisher of the 
world; from push, to nourish. According to the tenour 
of the hymn, he is the deity presiding especially over 


Rig-veda Translation 

roads or journeyings. His being called the son of the 
cloud, is not incompatible with hi^' character of earth 
personified as a male, as, according to other texts of the 
Veda, the earth was born of the water, — adbhyah prithivi; 
and again, earth was the essence of the water; tad yad 
apam sara asit tat samahanyata sa prithivi abhavat, — that 
which was the essence of the waters, that was aggregated, 
and it became earth. Pusha occurs also as a feminine 
noun, in which case it appears to be synonymous with 
Prithivi, the earth, as in the text: Pusltadhwanah patu, 
whifch is explained, lyam pusha, may this Pusha protect 
the roads; where the gender is denoted by the feminine 
pronoun iyam: and in another text, iyam vai pusheyam 
hidam sarvam pushyati, — this is verily Pusha, for she 
cherishes this whole world. Throughout the hymn, how- 
ever, Pushan is masculine. 

7. In this and the two next verses, we have an 
example of what is not unfrequent, the repetition of a 
phrase as a sort of burden or refrain: the expression is, 
Pushan iha kratum vidah, — Pushan, know here, the act 
or business; that is, on this occasion or journey, know 
how to fulfil your function of giving us protection. Rosen 
renders it, Pushan hie sacrificium animadverte ; kratu 
meaning an act of sacrifice, as well as act or action in 

Page 64 

1. 8. 8. Rudra. — According to the Scholiast, Rudra 
means, he who makes to weep, who causes all to weep 
at the end of time; thus identifying him with the destroy- 
ing principle, or Shiva; but there is nothing in the hymn 
to bear out such an identification; on the contrary, he 
appears as a beneficent deity, presiding especially over 
medicinal plants. 

2. Aditi is here said to mean the earth, who, it is 

Notes on Volume I 


wished, may so act {karat), that Rudriya may be obtained* 
The meaning of Rudriya , according to the Scholiast, is, 
Rudra sambandhi bheshajam , — medicament in relation to 
or presided over by Rudra , conformably to the text, va 
te Rudra shiva tanuh , shiva vishwa ha, bheshaji shiva, 
Rudrasya bheshajiti , — whatever are thy auspicious forms, 
O Rudra , they are all auspicious; auspicious are medi- 
caments, the medicaments of Rudra. 

4. Shanyu is said to be the son of Brihaspati; 
nothing more is related of him. 

4. Jalashabheshajam , he who has medicaments con- 
ferring delight; from ja 9 one born, and lasha , happiness; 
an unusual word except in a compound form, as abhilasha , 
which is of current use; or it may mean, sprung from 
water ( jala ), all vegetables depending upon water for 
their growth. 

9. Apparently there is some confusion of objects 
in this place. Soma , the moon, being confounded with 
Soma , libation. 

Page 65 

2. Ratliir adhwaranam. Rosen renders rathih , auriga, 
but Sayana explains it, ratha-sthaniya , in the place of 
chariot; confirmed by other texts; as, esha hi de va- 
ra t hah, he {Agni) is verily the chariot of the gods, and, 
radio ha va esha bhutebhyo devebhyo havyam vahati , truly 
he is the chariot that bears the oblation to the spirits 
and the gods. 

Page 66 

6. Do Honour to the Divine Man. — Namasya 
daivyam janam; that is, the Rishi of the hymn, Praskanwa, 

8. Swadhwara: from su , good, and ad invar a, sacri- 
fice; equivalent, according to the Scholiast, to the 
Ahavaniya fire. 

Bhaga is one of the Adityas. 


Rig-veda Translation 

10. Man Placed on the East. — Purohita, which 
may also mean, the domestic priest*. 

Page 67 

1. Janam; Manu-jatam, a man born of Manu. 
Jana , according to the Scholiast, here signifies a divine 
being in connection with the divinities enumerated, 
another man, devata rupa, of a divine nature or form. 

2. We have had these alluded to on a former 
occasion; but, according to the Aitareya Brahmana, 2, 18, 
there are two classes of thirty -three divinities each, the one 
consisting of those formerly specified, who are termed 
also Somapas, or drinkers of the Soma juice, and the 
other of eleven Prayajas (the same with the Apris, p. 16, 
I. 4. 2), eleven Anuyajas, and eleven Upayajas, who are 
to be propitiated by oblations of clarified butter, not by 
libations of Soma. They are evidently little else than 
personifications of sacrifices. 

3. The commentator, on the authority of the 
Nirukta, 3, 17, calls these all Rishis. Atri and Angiras 
are always enumerated among the Prajapatis; Priyamedhas 
may be the same as Priyavrata, the son of Swayambhuva 
Manu; and we have a Virupa among the early descend- 
ants of Vaivaswata Manu, who, as the father of Ila, is the 
Manu of the Veda. — Vishnu Purana, pp. 53 and 359. 

Page 68 

9. Strength-generated. — Produced by friction, 
which requires strength to perform effectively. 

In this and the next stanzas we have again an 
allusion to some divine or deified person, daivyam janam, 
or to some other divinity, without particularizing him; it 
may be intended for Ka or Prajapati, who with Agni, here 
actually addressed, would make up the thirty-three divini- 
ties, with the Vasus, Rudras, and Adityas. 

10. , Tiro-ahnyam is said to be the appellation of the 

Notes on Volume I 


Soma juice so prepared; from tiras, oblique or indirect, 
and ahnyam, diurnal; that juice which is expressed on the 
preceding day and offered on the succeeding. 

2. Sindhu-matarau. The sun and moon, as the Scho- 
liast states, are said to be born of the sea, — samudra-jau; 
and in the opinion of some, the Ashwins are the same as 
the sun and moon, and consequently are sea-born. 

Page 69 

6. The original has only, “disperse the darkness”, — 
tamastirah; the Scholiast explains the darkness to signify 
that of poverty, — daridrya-rupandhakarafi. 

9. The whole of this stanza is very elliptical and 
obscure, and largely indebted to the Scholiast; literally, 
jit would run, “Rays from the sky, Kanwas, cause of 
dwelling in the place of the rivers; where do you wish 
to place own form ?” Say ana fills this up by supposing 
that the Kanwas are directed to inquire of the Ashwins 
the particulars specified in the translation. Without 
some such addition, however conjectural it may be, it 
were impossible to extract any meaning out of such a 

Page 70 

2. Trivandhurena trivrita-rathena, with a car with 
three posts, and triangular, is the explanation we have had 
before. The Scholiast here proposes a somewhat different 
interpretation, and would render the terms: having three 
undulating fastenings of timber, and passing unobstructedly 
through the three worlds. 

6. Sudas is called a Raja, the son of Pijavana. We 
have two princes of the name of Sudasa, in the Puranas, 
one in the solar line ( Vishnu Parana, 380), .the other in the 
lunar, the son of Divodasa (ibid., 454). 

Page 71 

9. Sun-clad Chariot. — Literally, sun-Skinned, — 


Rig-veda Translation 

suryatwacha ; that is, either surrounded or invested by the 
sun, or like him in brightness. 

2. The three epithets (of Ushas) are all in the femi- 
nine plural, without a substantive; ashwavatih , gomatih , 
vishwasuvidah; the Scholiast supplies, therefore, usho - 
devutah , the divinities of dawn, as if there were many; 
Rosen supplies, hora? matutime . 

3. The text is, samudre na shravasyavah , like those 

desirous of wealth for sea; the commentary supplies “send 
ships’’. In the beginning of the stanza we have only Uvasa , 
ITshah , which the Scholiast explains, pura nivasam akarot , 
she has made a dwelling formerly, prabhatam kritavati , 

she produced the dawn. 

Page 72 

6. Arthinah visrijati, she lets loose askers, solicitors; 
for they, says Sciyana, having risen at early morning, go to 
the houses of those who are their respective benefactors, — 
te (yachakah ) ushahkale samutthaya swakiya-datrigrihc 

7. Perhaps, with many rays of light, is what is 
intended by the many chariots of the dawn. 

8. Sridhah; shoshayitrin; the driers up; possibly, the 
clouds are intended, as taking up the dews of night, but 
no explanation of the application of the term is given. 

Page 73 

15. The east and west points of the horizon. 

1. So the Nighantu , — arunyo gava ushasam , purple 
cows, the vehicles of the morning. 

Page 74 

2. Nakshatrani , the stars in general, or the lunar 
asterisms, which, according to different texts, are consi- 
dered to be the abodes of the gods, or the visible forms 
of pious persons after death; as, devagriha vai nakshatrani , 
the constellations are verily the dwellings of the gods; and 

Notes on Volume T 


again, yo va iha yojmte amum lokam nakshate , either, he 
who performs worship here, obtains the next world, or, 
sukritam va : nani jyotmshi yan nukshatrani , those constella- 
tions are the luminaries of those who practise religious 
acts, that is, according to Say ana, those who by attending 
to religious duties in this world attain S wary a, are 
beheld in the form of constellations, — iha lake karma - 
mishthaya ve swaryam prapnuvanti te nakshatrarupena 
dr i shy ante. 

4. Sayana says, that, according to .the Smriti , the 
sun moves 2,202 yojanas in half a twinkle of the 

Jyotishkrit , giving light to all things, even to the 
moon and the planets, by night; for they, it is said, are 
of a watery substance, from which the rays of the sun 
are reflected, in like manner as the rays of the sun, 
falling upon a mirror placed in the door-way of a chamber, 
are reflected into the interior, and give it light. Sayana 
also explains the whole passage metaphysically, identify- 
ing the sun with the supreme spirit, who enables all beings 
to pass over the ocean of existence, who is beheld by all 
desirous of final emancipation, who is the author of true 
or spiritual light, and who renders everything luminous 
through the light of the mind. 

5. The text has, prat van devanam vishah , before the 
men or people of the gods; that is, the Maruts , who in 
another Vaidik text are so designated: Martuo vai devanam 
vishah . 

8. Sapta haritah; which may also mean the seven 

rays. The seven horses are the days of the week; the 
seven rays may express the same. They* cun scarcely be 
referred to the prismatic rays, although the numerical 
coincidence is curious. % 

9. Sapta shundhyuvah; ashwa-striyah , mares. They 


Rig-veda Translation 

are also called naptyah , because with them the car does 
not fall: yabhir na patati rat hah, — they were more docile 
than those of Phaeton’s father. 

Page 75 

10. Here again we may have an allusion to a spiri- 
tual sun. The darkness, it is said, implies sin, and the 
approach to the sun intimates reunion with supreme 
spirit; as in other texts, Aganma jyotiruttamam, we go to 
the best light; that is, we become identified with spiritual 
light, — sayujyam gachchamah; and again, he (the wor- 
shipper) becomes identical with that which he worships, — 
tam yatha yathopasate tad era hhavati. 

1L Hrid-roga may also mean heart -burn or indiges- 
tion; harimanam , greenness or yellowness, is external 
change of the colour of the skin in jaundice or bilious 
affections. This verse and the two following constitute 
a tricha or triplet, the repetition of which, with due 
formalities, is considered to be curative of disease. 
Surva , thus hymned by Praskanwa , cured him, it is said, 
of a cutaneous malady or leprosy under which he was 
labouring; accordingly Shaunaka terms the couplets a 
mantra , dedicated to the sun, removing sin, healing 
disease, an antidote to poison, and the means of obtaining 
present happiness and final liberation. The especial 
worship of the sun in India at the time of the first 
incursions of the Mohammedans, attributed to that 
luminary’s having cured Samba , the son of Krishna , of 
leprosy, is fully related by M. Reinaud in his interesting 
Memoire sur V J ride, and was then, no doubt, of ancient 
date, originating with the primitive notions of the attrh 
butes of Surya here adverted to. The hymn is throughout 
of an archaic character. 

12 | So the Scholiast interprets the Haridrava of the 
text, Haritala drama; but there is no tree so called. t 

Notes on Volume I 269 

Haritala most usuayy means yellow orpiment; Hari- 
draw, , a yellow vegetable powder. 

13. The enemy here intended is sickness or disease. 

I. 10. 1. — Angiras , it is said, having performed worship 
to obtain a son who should resemble Indra , the deity 
became his son, under the name of Savva. 

1. Tyarn me sham; referring to a legend, in which 
it is narrated that Indra came in the form of a ram to a 
sacrifice solemnized by Medhatithi , and drank the Soma 
juice; or, rnesha may be rendered, victor over foes. # 

2. The Ribhus are said here to mean ’the Manas, by 
whom Indra was aided and encouraged, when all the gods 
had deserted him; as in the texts, “All the gods who 
were thy friends have fled; may there be friendship 
between the Maruts and thee;” and again, "'"The Maruts 
did not abandon him.” 

Irradiating the Firmament. — Indra , as Shakra, is 
one of the twelve Adilyas , or suns. 

Words were Uttered. — They exclaimed, “Strike; 
Bhagavan ,, be valiant,” — Praha ra Bhagavo viryaswa. 

Page 76 

3. The Cloud. — The term is gotra , explained either 
a cloud, or a herd of cattle. Gotrabhid, as a name of 
Tndra, implies, in ordinary language, mountain-breaker; 
that is, with the thunderbolt; as applied to cattle, it 
alludes, it is said, to the recovery of the cows stolen by 
Pani: in either case, the act was performed in consequence 
of the prayers, or for the benefit of the descendants of 

By a Hundred Doors. — By a number of means or 
contrivances, — yantras . * * 

Vimada is called in the commentary a MaharshL 

4. Par vote danumad vasu; in the mountain, implies 
the dwelling of Indra ; danumat is variously explained, as 


Rig -Veda Translation 

one doing an injury, hostile or malignant, an enemy; or, 
one descended from Danu, a Danava , an Asura; or it may 
be an epithet of vasu, wealth, fit for liberality; from 
danu. giving. 

Vritra , who is Ahi; explained hantri , the slayer. 
From a text cited from the Yajur Veda , Ahi appears to be 
the personification of all the benefits derivable from 
sacrifice, knowledge, fame, food, and prosperity: So yat 
sarvam etat samdbhavat tasmad Ahiriti , — Inasmuch as he 
w^s the same as all that, therefore he was called Ahi. 

5. Accord mg to the Kaushitakis , the A suras, con- 
temning Agni, offered oblations to themselves; and the 
Vajasaneyis relate that, when there was a rivalry between 
the gods and Asuras , the latter arrogantly said, “Let us 
not offer sacrifice to any one'\ and thereupon made the 
oblations to their own mouths. 

Pipru is called an Asura ; Rijishwan a worshipper 

whom they oppressed; dasyu-hatyeshu , in battles killing 
the Dasyusy robbers or barbarians. 

6. Shushna, Shamhara , and Arbuda are designated 
as Asuras; Kutsa we have had before, as the name of 
a Rishi; Atithigwa is said to mean the hospitable, and 
to be also termed Dhodasa ; but it does not appear 
whether he is the same as the Divodasa of the Pur anas. 

8. The Aryas , as appears from this and the next 
verse, and as stated by the Scholiast, are those who 
practise religious rites, while the Dasyus are those who 
do not ohserve religious ceremonies, and are inimical to 
those who do; being probably the uncilviized tribes of 
India, yet unsubdued by the followers of the Vedas , the 
Aryas, the respectable or civilized race. 

Page 77 

9. The text is here obscure, — Vamro vijaghana 
sandihali ; Vamra destroyed the collections. The Scholiast 

Notes on Volume I 


says, that a Riski, named Vamra , took advantage of 
Indra' s absence from a sacrifice, to carry away the accu- 
mulated heap of offerings, the marrow or essence of the 
earth: Yad valmikavapasambharo bhavati urjjam eva 


12. Sharyata was a Rajarshi , according to the Scho- 
liast, of the race of Bhrigu . The Aitareya Brahmana calls 
him a prince of the race of Manu: the term is a 
patronymic, implying son or descendant of Sharyati, who 
was the fourth son of the Manu Vaivaswata : the Rishi 
Chyavana married his daughter, and a solemn sacrifice 
was held on the occasion, at which Indra and the 
Ashwins were present. Chyavana appropriated to himself 
the share of the oblation intended for the Ashwins , at 
which Indra was very angry, and to appease him, a fresh 
offering was prepared. The Scholiast quotes this story 
from the Kaushitaki . It is detailed in the Bhagavata and 
Padma Puranas. 

13. Vrichaya , it is said, was given to Kakshivat at the 
Rajasuya ceremony; no notice of her occurs else- 

Mena. — The Brahmana is cited for a strange story of 
Indra' s having himself become Mena , the daughter of 
Vrishanashwa , and having afterwards fallen in love with 
her. The Mena of the Puranas is one of the daughters 
of the Pitris by Swadha , and the wife of Himavat , the 
king of the mountains. 

14. The Pajras are said to be the same as the 
Angi rasas. 

Page 78 

Who is Possessed of — Or it may *be rendered, who 
is desirous of possessing, expecting such gifts from the 
institutor of the ceremony. 

1. See note on I. 10. 1. 1. 

272 Rig-veda Translation 

• Page 79 

5. The text has only, paridhir iva tritah; and tritah 
may mean triple or threefold; milking the phrase, “as 
through triple coverings”, or defences; whence Rosen 
has, custodies veluti a tribus partibus constitutes; M . 
Langlois is more correct, in considering Tritah as a proper 
name; but it may be doubted if he has authority for 
rendering it by Soma , — ou libation qtii porte 1e nom de 
Trita ; or for the additional circumstances he narrates. 
The tegend told by the Scholiast and confirmed by other 
passages of the text, as well as by the version of the 
story found in the Nitimanjari , is wholly different. Ekata , 
Dwita , and Trita were three men produced in water by 
Agni, for the purpose of removing or rubbing off the 
reliques of an oblation of clarified butter, the proper 
function of the sacred grass, to the three blades of which 
placed on the altar, the legend may owe its origin; but 
this does not appear from the narrative. The Scholiast, 
following the Taittiriyas , says that Agni threw the cinders 
of the burnt-offerings into water, whence successively 
arose Ekata , Dwita , and Trita , who, it elsewhere appears, 
were therefore called Aptyas, or sons of water (Sukta 105, 
v. 9). Trita having on a subsequent occasion gone to 
draw water from a well, fell into it, and the Asuras heaped 
coverings over the mouth of it, to prevent his getting out; 
but he broke through them with ease. It is to this exploit 
that Indra's breaking through the defences of the A sura, 
Vala , is compared. The story is somewhat differently 
related in the Nitimanjari . Three brothers, it is said, 
Ekata , Dwita, and Trita, were travelling in a desert, and 
being distressed thirst, came to a well, from which 
the youngest, Trita, drew water and gave it to his 
brothers; /n requital, they threw him into the well, in 
.order to appropriate his property, and having covered 

Notes on Volume T 


the top with a cajt-wheel, left him in the well; in thi& 
extremity, he prayed to all the gods to extricate him, and 
by their favour he made his escape. Paridhi , the term 
of the text, means a circumference, a circular covering 
or lid. Mr. Colebrooke has briefly, but with his usual 
accuracy, cited this story in his account of the Rig-veda 
{As. Researches , viii, p. 388). Dr. Roth conceives Trita 
to be the same as Traitana , a name that occurs in a text 
of the Rig, and, converting the latter into a deification, 
he imagines him to be the original of Thraetona * the 
7*nd form of Feridun, one of the heroes of the Shah-nama , 
and of ancient Persian tradition. — Zeitschrift der D r 
Morgenlandischen Gcsellschaft , vol. ii, p. 216. Professor 
Lassen seems disposed to adopt this identification. — 
Indische Alterthumskunde , Additions. The identity of 
Trita and Traitana , however, remains to be established, 
and the very stanza quoted by Dr. Roth as authority for 
the latter name, is explained in the Nitimanjari in a very 
different sense from that which he has given. It is said, 
that the slaves of Dirghatamas , when he was old and 
blind, became insubordinate and attempted to destroy 
him, first by throwing him into the fire, whence he was 
saved by the Ashwins , then into water, whence he was 
extricated by the same divinities; upon which Traitana , 
one of the slaves, wounded him on the head, breast, and 
arms, and then inflicted like injuries on himself, of which 
he perished. After these events, the sage recited in praise 
of the Ashwins the hymn in which the verse occurs: — Na 
ma garan nadyo matritama dasa yad im susamubdham 
ahadhuh; shiro yad asya Traitano vitakshat swayam dasa 
uro ansavapi gdha , — ‘"Let not the material waters swallow 
me, since the slaves assailed this decrepit old man; in 
like manner as the slave Traitana wounded his head, 
so has he struck it, of himself, and likewise' his breast 

274 Rig-veda Translation 

^and shoulders.” If this interprctatioji be correct, there 
can be little relation between Trita and Traitana , and 
between the latter and Feridun . The former term has, 
however, found admission as a numeral, and apparently 
also as a proper name, into the Zend books. See 
M. Burnouf's “ Etudes sur les Textas Zends” Journal 
Asiatique , April, 1845; see also the word Trita, in the 
Glossary of Benfey’s edition of the Santa Veda . 

9. The text has only Brihat; the Scholiast adds 
Sanya. An allusion to the Sama , in a verse of the Rik % 
would indicate the priority of the former, at least as 
respects this hymn. 

Page 80 

13. Pratimanam bhuvah , the counter-measure of the 
earth; that is, according to the Scholiast, of similar 
magnitude and like inconceivable power. 

Rishwavirasya hrihatah patih , lord or protector of 
the great (region), in which are the pleasant ( rishwa ) 
gods (vira). 

15. The text has only bhrishtimata vadhena , — with 
the killer (or weapon) that has angles. According to the 
Aitareya Brahmana , the Vajra , or thunderbolt of Indr a, 
has eight angles, or perhaps blades; ashtashrir vai vajrah. 

6. Dasha sahasrani vritrani; the last is interpreted 
by Avarakani , covers, concealments, obstructions. 

Page 82 

7. Namuchi is termed an Asura; he appears in the 
Puranas as a Danava , or decendant of Danu . 

8. The first two are the names of Asuras ; Atithigwa 
we have had before; Vangrida is called an Asura , and 
Rijishwan a Raja ; *we have no further particulars, nor do 
they appear in the Puranas. 

9. tjere again we derive no aid from the Bhashya . 
The legend is not Pauranik, and though we have a 

Notes on Volume I 


Sushravas among the Prajapatis in the Vayu Purana , he 
does not appear as a king. 

Ayus , the son of Pururavas, may be intended; but 
the name here is Ayu ; without the final sibilant. 

Page 83 

6. Of these names, Turvasha may be the Turvasu of 
the Puranas , one of the sons of Yayati , as another, Yadu, 
is named. Narya and Turviti are unknown; the latter 
appears hereafter as a Rishi. See I. 11. 4. 11. 

Page 84 

Chariots and Horses. — Ratham; ttasam; the latter 
is a synonyme of Ashwa , in the Nighantu , but both words 
may also be regarded as the names of two Rishis. 

Cities of (Shambara). — The commentary supplies this 

Page 85 

2. Gribhnciti vctrimabhih , — he grasps with his powers 
of comprehending or collecting, samvaranaih / or it may 
be, by his vastness, urutwaih . 

Page 86 

6. * The sun and the constellations were obscured by 
the same cloud which detained the aggregated waters. 

8. Like wells, is the whole of the simile, in the usual 
elliptical style of the text; the amplification is from the 

Page 87 

2. As Women (Climb) a Mountain.— The Scholiast 
here also ekes out the scantiness of the text, — as women 
climb a hill to gather flowers. 

3. Ayasah y consisting of iron; that is, according to 
the Scholiast, whose body is defended by armour of iron, 
showing the use of coats of mail at This period, and 
intimating also, a representation of the person of Indra 
as an image or idol. 

„ v F 


Rig-veda Translation 

^ 6. Samaya pashya ; the latter may be either, with a 

stone or a spear; but the adjective sama, whole, entire, 
seems to require the former. 

Page 88 

2. Did not Sleep upon the Mountain. — Or against 
the side of Vritra; that is, it did not stop until it had 
performed its office. 

Page 89 

1. The firmament existed, but in darkness, until fire, 
identified with light, rendered it visible, so that Agni may 
be said to have made or created it, — vimame, or nirmame. 

2. The text has ‘ adma / food, or what may be eaten; 
but the Scholiast explains it, trinagulmadikam, straw and 
twigs; in contrast to atasd , which presently occurs, and 
which he explains by kashtha , wood or timber. 

3. Honoured. — The term is purohitah , explained 
puraskritah , which may also imply, placed in front of, 

Page 90 

6. Divyayd janmane , for the sake of being born as 

9. Maghavan. — This is a very unusual appellative of 
Agni, and is a common synonyme of Indra , although, in 
its proper sense of a possessor of riches, it may be 
applied to either. 

Page 91 

I. 11. 2. — Vaishwanara; from vishwa , all, and tiara, 
a man; a fire common to all mankind; or, as here 
indicated, the fire or natural heat of the stomach, which 
is a principal element of digestion. 

1. Like a Deep-Planted Column. — That is, as a 
pillar or post fixed firmly in the ground supports the main 
beam or roof of a house. 

2. Thjs is the first verse of a Tricha to be recited 
.at a ceremony observed on the day of the equinox. Agni 

Notes on Volume I 277 

is said to be the head of heaven, as the principal element, 
and the navel of earth, as its main source of suppo/t. 
The term Aryaya may apply either to Manu as the insti- 
tutor of the first sacrifice, or to the Yajamana, the insti- 
tutor of the present rite. 

4. For Their Son. — The Scholiast supports this 
affiliation by citing another text; but that does not apply 
particularly to any form of Agni, but to himself: Uhha 
pitara mahayan ajayata agnir dyava prithivi , — Both 
parents, heaven and earth, expanding, Agni was born. 

Like a Bard. — The text has mapushya only, 4ike a 
man; that is, according to the Scholiast, a bandi a 
panegyrist, or bard, who recites the praises of a prince 
or great man, for largess. 

5. Carried off by the Asuras. — This clause is 
from the Scholiast. 

6. We have Vaishwanara here evidently identified 
with Indra , an identification not inconsistent with Vaidik 
theogony, which resolves all the divinities into three, — 
Fine, Air, and the Sun, and those three again into one, 
or the Sun ( Nirukta , 7, 4); but the Scholiast says we are 
to understand Vaishwanara , in this verse, as the Agni 
of the firmament, the Vaidyuta , the lightning or electric 
fire. The firmament, or middle region, is properly that 
of Vayu , the wind, or of Indra; the inferior region, or 
earth, is the proper sphere of Agni, and that of the upper 
region* or heaven,, of the A Sun. The Scholiast cites a 
passage from the Nirukta , 7, 21, in whjch it is discussed 
who Vaishwanara is, and two opinions are compared, 
one which places him in the middle region, and identifies 
him with Indra or Vayu, or both, in which character he 
sends rain, an office that the terresfr&l Agni cannot dis- 
charge; and another which identifies him with Surya , or 
the sun in the upper sphere. Both are, hojvever, consi- 


Rig-veda Translation 

dered by the Scholiast to be untenable, chiefly from the 
etymologies of the name, which mak6 Vaishwanara an 
Agni , the fire, as above stated, of the middle region, or 
lightning; from which, when fallen to earth, the terres- 
trial fire is born, and from which also the rain is indirectly 
generated, the burnt-offering ascending to the sun; and 
it is in consequence, from the sun that rain descends; 
Vaishwanara is therefore an Agni. According to 
Pauranik astronomy, Vaishwanara is the central path of 
the sun; in mythology, he occurs as one of the Danavas. 
The cfroud is termed in the text Shambara , who is elsewhere 
called an A sura. 

Page 92 

7. All Men. — Vishwakrishti , literally rendered, all 
men; the Scholiast says, of whom all men are of same 
nature, — swabhutah. 

Bharadwujeshu; in sacrifices which present food in 
the shape of nutritious ( pushtikara ) oblations of clarified 
butter ( havis ); or it may mean, who is to be worshipped 
by the Rishis termed Bharadwajas , or of the Gotra , or race 
of Bharadwaja. 

Purunitha, the Son of Shatavani. — These are 
Vaidik names; Shatavani is so called as the offerer of a 
hundred, Le., numerous, sacrifices; his son has the 
patronymic Shatavaneya . 

1. The wind brought Agni to the sage Bhrigu , as a 
friend (rati); some translate it, a son, as in the text, 
ratim bhrigunam , — the son of the Bhrigus. The more 
modern Sanskrit confirms the first sense, as, although it 
has lost the original simple term, it preserves it in the 
compound arati , an enemy, one not (a) a friend (rati), 
an unfriend. 

The Offspring of Two Parents. — As before; either 
of heaven and earth, or of the two pieces of wood. 

Notes on Volume I 


2. The text has only ubhavasah , the both, which the 
Scholiast explains eifher gods and men, or the ministering 
priests and their employer the Yajamcma. The same 
authority would repeat the phrase, gods and men, as the 
sense of the text, Ushijo ye cha mart ah , explaining the 
first by kamayamanah devah , — those who are to be wished 
for, the gods; he also proposes as an alternative for 
ushijah , medhavinah, wise, or the priests, and for mortals, 
the yajamcma s. 

The priests conduct the Yajamana to the place where 
the fire has been prepared, before the break of day, 'by 
the Adhwaryu. 

3. Newest Celebration. — Navyasi sukirtih; as if 
the hymn were of very recent composition. 

Agni, it is said, is engendered of air; but that air is the 
vital air, or breath, and Agni therefore is said to be pro- 
duced in the heart, or in the interior of the human body. 

In the Time of Battle. — I n order to make burnt- 
offerings to secure success. 

Page 93 

5. Rubbing Thee. — The text has only rubbing, or 
rather sweeping, thee as a horse; that is, according to 
the Scholiast, brushing the place of the fire for the 
burnt-offering, the altar perhaps, in like manner as persons 
about to mount a horse rub with their hands the part 
where they are to sit; one inference from which is, that 
the early Hindus had no saddles. 

4. Ratham na tashteva tatsinaya ; Sina , according to 
the Nirukta , is a synonyme of food ( Nirukta , 5, 5); tut 
implies the owner of the car, for his food. 

Page 94 

5. Arkam juhva; the latter is defined, the instrument 
of invocation, the organ of speech; the former means, as 
usual, hymn or praise in metre. 


Rig- veda Translation 

7. Creator. — H e may be so termed, as everything 
in the world proceeds from rain. ' 

Pervader. — The term of the text is Vishnu , applied to 
Indra as the pervader of all the world, — sarvasya jagato 

Cloud. — Varaha, one of the synonymes of Megha, 
‘cloud,’ in the Nighantu; or it may mean sacrifice, from 
vara , a boon, and aha, a day. Tn reference to this 
purport, a different explanation of the text is given, which 
is somewhat obscure: Vishnu, it is said, means the per- 
sonified sacrificp ( yajrn ), in which character he stole or 
attracted the accumulated wealth of the Asuras; after 
which he remained concealed behind seven difficult passes, 
or the days of initiatory preparation for the rite. Indra, 
having crossed the seven defiles, or gone through the 
seven days of initiation, pierced or penetrated to, or 
accomplished, the sacrifice. This explanation is support- 
ed by a citation from the Taittiriya, which is still more 
obscure: This Varaha, the stealer of what is beautiful, (?) 
cherishes beyond the seven hills the wealth of the Asuras; 
he (Indra), having taken up the tufts of the sacred grass, 
and pierced the seven hills, slew him. — Varahoyam vama- 
moshah saptanam girinam parastad vittam vedyam asuranam 
bibharti; sa darbhapinjulam uddhritya, sapta girin bhittwa, 
(am ahanniti. 

8. The wives of the gods are the personified Gayatri, 
and other metres of the Vedas; according to the Scholiast, 
the term gnah, preceding devapatnih, usually means 
females, or women, whose nature, the Scholiast says, is 
locomot i ve, — gamanaswabha vah, 

9. The Scholiast says, he calls the clouds to battle, 
for by the mutual collision of the clouds rain is engen- 

Notes on Volume I 28 ! 

Page 95 

11. Turviti. — i'he name of a Rishi, who, the 
Scholiast adds, had been immersed in water: Jndra brought 
him to dry land. 

12. The text has, “cut in pieces the limbs of Vritra , 

as of a cow” ( gor na); the commentator supplies the 
rest, “as worldly men, the carvers of flesh, divide here 
and there the limbs of animals”. The expression is 
remarkable, although it may not be quite clear what is 
meant by the term used by Say ana, vikartarah , cutters up, 
or carvers: perhaps the word should be vikreiarah, 

^venders of meat, butchers: at any rate it proves that no 
horror was attached to the notion of a joint of beef, in 
ancient days, among the Hindus. 

15. Swashwa. — T he legend relates that a king 
named Swashwa , or the lord of good (su) horses (ashwa), 
being desirous of a son, worshipped Surya , who himself 
was born as the son of the king; at a subsequent period, 
in some dispute between him and the Rishi Efashch Jndra 
took part with the latter. 

Page 96 

2. A Chant fit to be sung aloud. — The expression 
is angushyam Sama , a Santa fit to be recited aloud, — 
aghoshyayogyam; such as the Rathantaras , and other 
prayers, which are usually considered portions of the 
Sama Veda; but the commentator understands Sama in 
this place to mean, singing or chanting of the Richas:— 
Rikshu yad ganam tasva sametyakhya. 

3. When Indra desired the bitch Sarama to go in 
search of the stolen cattle, she consented to do so only 
on condition that the milk of the cows should be given 
to her voune ones, which Indra promised. 


Rig- veda Translation 

Brihaspati is here used as a synonyme of Indra , the 
protector or master (pati) of the great ones ( brihatam ) r 
the gods. 

4. Sayana identifies the priests ( vipras ) with the 
Angirasas , who, he says, are of two orders; those who 
conduct sacrifices for nine months, and those who conduct 
them for ten. He cites the Nirukta for the confirmation 
of this (xi, 19); but the meaning of Yaska's interpretation 
of the word Nava gw a is doubtful, as Navagatl may mean, 
‘that one whose course or condition is new,’ better than 
c fo£ nine’. Another explanation which he suggests, — 
Navanitagati , — is still less intelligible, for Navanita usually 
means fresh butter. The seven priests are said to be 
Medhatiihi and other Rishis of the race of Angiras . 

Adrim phaligam valam; the last is here explained, 
cloud; the first, that which is to be divided by the 
thunderbolt; and the second, that which yields fruit, or 
causes grain to grow by its rain; or the three words 
may be considered as substantives, Adri implying, as 
usual, a mountain; phaliga , a cloud, and vala , an Asura; 
all of whom were terrified by Indra' s voice or thunder. 

Page 97 

6. No specification of these four is given beyond 
their being the Ganges and others. 

7. Not to be attained by Violence. — The term 
Avasya has perplexed the Scholiast: it may be derived 
from Vasa, effort, that which is not attainable by effort; 
that is, according to one interpretation, not to be over- 
come in battle; whence Rosen has rendered it by invictus . 
It is contrasted apparently with what follows, and which 
requires the insertion of Susadhya , — easily to be reached, 
or influenced by praises, and the like. Other etymologies 
are suggested, but they are still less satisfactory. 

Notes on Volume I 


10. This seems to intimate that the fingers were 
employed in the performance of what is at present 
termed mudra , certain intertwinings and gesticulations 
accompanying prayer; the commentary understands it as 
merely their employment in* acts of worship or homage. 
That the practice is not altogether modern appears from 
the paintings of the Ajantci caves, several of the persons 
of which are evidently performing the finger gesticulations. 

Patnih swasarah may mean only the protecting or 
propitiatory and moving epithets of avanih , fingers; 
Janayo na is the expression for Mike wives’, /.<?., says 
Sayana , devanam , — of the gods. 

Page 98 

]. By Thy Energies. — The term explained by the 
Scholiast, balaih , by forces, or strength, is in the text, 
shushmaih , ‘the driers up’, that is, it is said, of enemies. 
Of the circumstance alluded to, we have no other expla- 
nation than that Indra became manifest, and sustained 
earth and heaven when they were filled with fear of an 
Asura. Perhaps Vritra is intended; but the passage is 

2. Accomplisher of Undesired Acts. — Aviharyata- 
kratu ; Rosen has desiderata s res facie ns, but the Scholiast 
has aprepsita karmun; that is, he does actions undesired 
by his foes. 

3. Chief of the Ribhus.- — So the Scholiast explains 
Ribhuksha , — Ribhunam adhipati ; or it may mean, he who 
abides in the Ribhus, — teshu kritanivasah ; but he under- 
stands Rib/m here to mean a wise man, a sage (medhavin ) . 

Kutsa and Shushna. — These names have occurred 
before in the same relation (see p. 76, I. 10. 1. 6). 

Page 99 

4. The Dasyus are described as the enemies of 
Kutsa , — Kutsasyopakshayataralu Agreeably to the appa- 


Rig-veda Translation 

v rent sense of Dasyu , barbarian, or one not Hindu, Kutsa 
would be a prince who bore an active part in the subju- 
gation of the original tribes of India. 

5. Unwilling to Harm. — Even although hostile to 
him; that is, Indra is in himself indifferent to those who 
are opposed to him, and if he undertakes their destruc- 
tion, it is not on his own behalf, but in defence of his 
friends and worshippers, as in the case of Kutsa , alluded 
to in the preceding stanza. 

4 7. Purukutsa is called a Rishi , Sudas a king (see 
p. 70), and An lids an A sura; but no further information 
is given in the comment. 

Page 100 

2. Sons of Rudra. — Rudrasya maryah; literally, the 
mortals or men of Rudra ; but the Scholiast observes, the 
Maruts are immortal, and the term must therefore imply 
sons, agreeably to another text, a te Pitar marutam 
sumnam etu , — may he obtain thy favour, father of the 
Maruts; or as in stanza 12, where the Maruts are called, 
collectively, Rudrasya Sunuh , — the son of Rudra . 

Satwano na; Satwanah is explained, Parameshwarasya 
bhutaganah, — the troops of demons attendant on Para- 
meshwara or Shiva . 

Page J01 

8. Prishatibhih , with the spotted deer, which are the 
Vahanas , or steeds of the Maruts . 

11. As Elephants. — Apathyo na; literally, “like that 
which is produced or occurs on the road/’ leaving a 
wide range for explanation. Sayana therefore proposes 
another meaning; “like a chariot which drives over and 
crushes sticks straws on the way”. 

Page 102 

12. Receiving Libations from Sacred Vessels. — 
Rijishinam , which Rosen renders hostes vincentem , and 

Notes on Volume I 


M. Langlois, victor ieuse; but the commentary offers no^ 
such signification. The Maruts , it is said, are worshipped 
at the third or evening ceremonial, according to the text, 
Rijishcm abhishunwanti , — 64 they (the priests) pour the Soma 
juice into the vessel”. Rijisham , in its ordinary sense, is 
a frying-pan; but here it may mean any sacrificial vessel. 

14. Putra , son, is supplied by the comment; the 
concluding phrases authorize the addition. 

Page 103 

I. 12. 1. Dwipada Virat. — Each stanza is divided 
into half, and each two Padas are considered as forming 
a complete stanza; hence this hymn and the five follow- 
ing are said to be Dasharcha , or to have ten stanzas each, 
whilst in fact they have only five. 

1. Guha chatantam ; the first term, usually "a cave’, 
is said to apply either to the depth of the waters, or to 
the hollow of the Ashwattha tree, in both of which Agni 
hid himself for a season. 

2. A fish revealed to the gods where Agni had 
hidden, as, according to the Taittiriyas , ‘Tie, concealing 
himself, 'entered into the waters; the gods wished for a 
messenger to him; a fish discovered him ,” — Sa nilayata , 
so apah pravishat , tam devah praisham aichc hhan; torn 
ma tsyah prabra vi i. 

3. The epithets are in the text attached to the 
objects of comparison, although equally applicable to 
Agni; thus he is pushtirna ronwa , — like grateful nourish- 
ment; kshitirna prithwi , — like the vast earth; etc. Several 
of the comparisons admit of various interpretations; as 
the first may signify the increase of desired fruits or 
rewards, as the consequence of sacrifices with fire; in no 
case does it import the frugum maturitas of Rosen. 

4. Hairs of the Earth. — The fruit, flowers, grasses, 
shrubs, and the like, termed in the text roma prithivyah . 


Rig-veda Translation 

5. Creator like Sqma. — Sonio na vedhah ; in like 
manner as Soma creates or causes useful plants to grow, 
so Agni creates or extracts from them their nutritive 
faculty. The Agni here alluded to is the fire of digestion, 
the heat of the stomach: Agnir annado annapatishcha , — 
Agni is the eater and sovereign of food; and in the 
Vajasaneyi Yajush we have, etavad va idam annam anna - 
dashcha Soma eva annam Agnir annadah, — inasmuch as 
there is food and feeder, so Soma is the food, and the 
feeder is Agni. 

Page 104 

3. Like a Vigilant Sacrificer. — As the performer 
of a sacrifice takes care that nothing vitiates the rite, so 
Agni defends it from interruption by Rakshasas. 

4. Yamo ha jato , yamo janitwam , is the phraseology 

of the text, and is somewhat obscure; according to the 
Scholiast, Yamo here has its etymological purport only; 
he who gives the desired object to the worshippers, — 
yachchhati dadati kaman stotribhyah , in which sense it is 
a synonyme of Agni , — yam Agnir uchyate ; or it may be 
applied to him as one of the twins ( yama ), from the 
simultaneous birth of Indra and Agni, according to Yaska. 
Jata is said to imply all existing beings; janitwa , those 
that will exist: both are identical with Agni as Yama, 

from the dependence of all existence, past, present, or 
future, upon worship with fire. 

Lover of Maidens. — Because they cease to be 
maidens when the offering to fire, the essential part of the 
nuptial ceremony, is completed. 

Husband of Wives. — The wife bearing a chief part 
in oblations to firje; or a legend is alluded to, of Soma , 
having obtained, it does not appear how, a maiden, gave 
her to the Gandharva , Vishwavasu; he transferred her to 
Agni, whb gave her to a mortal husband, and bestowed 

Notes on Volume I 287 

upon her wealth and offspring. The whole of this stanza 
is similarly commented upon in the Nirukta, 10, 21. 

5. Animal and Vegetable Offerings. — So the com- 
mentator explains the terms charatha and vasatya , invo- 
cations prompted by minds purified by offerings of 
moveable things, that is, animals; or of immoveable 
things, as rice, and the like: tat prabhavaih hridayadibhih 
sadhyahutih ; or, pashuprabha va-hridayadisadhanayahutya. 

Page 105 

1. Havyavah , here used generally, is, properly, thq 
bearer of oblations to the gods; the Veda recognizing 
beside the usual fires, three Agnis: Havyavah or Havya- 
va liana, that which conveys offerings to the gods; 
Kavyavah , which conveys them to the Pit r is or Manes ; 
and Saharakshas , that which receives those offered to the 

3. Props up the Heaven. — According to the Taitti - 
riyas, the gods, alarmed at the obliquity of the region of 
l he sun, and fearing that it might fall, propped it up with 
the metres ^of the Veda, an act here attributed to Agni. 

Guha guham gab; Rosen has, de specu in specum 
procedas; but Guha here means, apparently, any arid or 
rugged tract unfit for pasture, or as the commentary says, 
mncharayogyam sthanam , — “a place unfit for grazing,” 
and which Agni may, therefore, scorch up with impunity. 

5. In building a house, worship is first offered to 
the edifice, and it is then put to use. So Agni is to be 
first adored, and then employed in any sacrificial rites. 

Page 106 

1. All Things Moveable and Tmmoveable. — That 
is, the world, made up of moveable and. immoveable 

Comprehending the Virtues of all these. — Or it 
may be rendered, “he alone surpasses the glories ( mahitwa ) 

288 Rig-veda Translation 

of all these gods;’* as Rosen has it, excellit deus , deorum 

4. Descendants of Manu. — M ankind. 

Page 107 

1. Devanam pita putrah san , The passage is also 
explained, the protector, either of the gods or of the 
priests ( ritwijam ), and their messenger, that is, at their 
command, like a son; but the expressions are, probably, 
to be used in their literal sense, with a metaphorical 
application. Agni, as the bearer of oblations, may be 
said to give paternal support to the gods, whilst he is 
their son as the presenter to them of sacrificial offerings, 

3. Tad devatarupo bhavati , — he becomes of the form 
or nature of that deity; as in the text, Twam Agne Vanina 
jayase twam Mitro bhavasi , etc., — Thou art born as 

Varuna , thou becomest Mitra. 

4. Samanair nribhih , — with equal leaders, or men; 
that is, with the Maruts. 

5. Extinguisher of the Dawn. — This phrase is 
here, as well as in the first verse, usho na jarah / the latter 
being explained by jarayitri , — the causer of decay. The 
sun obliterates the dawn by his superior radiance. 

Page 108 

2. Within Woods. — He is the garbha , the embryo, 
the internal germ of heat and life, in the waters, etc., all 
which depend for existence upon natural or artificial 

3. Kshapa-vat , — having or possessing the night, as 
then especially bright and illuminating; as the text, 
agneyi vai ratrih, — night is characterized by Agni: so also 
in one of the, .mantras of the Agnyadheya ceremony, we 
have, Agnirjyotih , Jvotiragnih swaha ( Vajasaneyi SanhiUh 
p. 64); or the term may be rendered also, capable of 
destroying (the Rakshasas ). 

Notes on Volume I 


Page 109 

2. Ketu> the indicator, or causer of day being 
known; that is, according to the Scholiast, Aditya , the sun. 

3. Source of Wealth. — Aryah, explained Dhanasya 
swaminah; it does not appear why Rosen renders it 

This and the preceding stanza are corroborative of 
the share borne by the Angirasas in the organization, if 
not in the origination, of the worship of Fire. 

4. Matarishwan is a common name of Vayu, or 
wind; but it is here said to mean, the priacipal vital air 
( mukhyaprana ), divided ( vibhrita ) into the five airs so 
denominated, as in a dialogue between them, cited by 
the Scholiast : “To them said the Arishta breath, 4 Be not 
astonished, for I, having made myself five-fold, and 
having arrested the arrow, sustain (life)’.” 

Manifest. — Jenya, from jana y to be born; or it may 
be derived from //, to conquer, and be rendered ‘victori- 
ous’; as, according to the Taittiriyas , “the gods and 
Asuras were once engaged in combat: the former, being 
alarmed, entered into fire, therefore they call Agni all the 
gods, who having made him their shield, overcame the 
Asuras.' 9 So in the Aitareya Brahmana , “the gods having 
awoke Agni and placed him before them at the morning 
sacrifice, repulsed, with him in their van, the Asuras and 
Rakshasas at the morning rite.” 

Page 110 

Sends an Ambassador. — This expresses a notion 
still current amongst the nations of the East, that the 
mission of an envoy to a foreign prince is an acknow- 
ledgment of the latter’s superiority. 

7. Seven Rivers, etc. — See note on I. 7. 2. 12. 

Our Food is not, etc. — That is, we have not any 
to spare for others. 


Rig-veda Translation 

8. Source of Virile Vigour. — That is, the vigour 
derived from the digestive Agni; or* retas may be render- 
ed, ‘water’; when the passage will mean, “may fire and 
water, or heat and moisture, be spread through the earth 
for the generation of corn.” 

Page 111 

10. Before Destruction. — Which is tantamount 

to asking Agni to grant immortality, — Amritatwam praya- 
chchheti yavat. 

1. Swatmabhimukham karoti, — he makes them pre- 
sent or applicable to himself: the creator is named 

Vedhas, usually a name of Brahma, and is here associated 
with shashwata , the eternal: this looks as if a first cause 
were recognized, distinct from Agni and the elemental 
deities, although, in a figurative sense, they are identified 
with it. 

3. Obtained Celestial Bodies. — The text has only 
Shuchayah, ‘the pure’; the Scholiast supplies Maruts, 
for whom, it is said, seven platters are placed at the 
Agni-chayana ceremony, and they are severally invoked 
by the appellations, Idrish, Anyadrish, Tadrish, Pratidrish , 
Mitah, Samitah, and others. In consequence of this 
participation with Agni of sacrificial offerings, they 
exchanged their perishable for immortal bodies, and 
obtained heaven. The Maruts are, therefore, like the 
Ribhus, deified mortals. 

4. Dedicated to Rudra. — The allusion to Agni's 
hiding himself, occurring previously, also in verse 2, has 
already been explained in the note on I. 1. 1. 6; but we 
have here some further curious identifications, from which 
it appears that Rudra is Agni; the hymns of the gods 
are addressed to Agni, and are therefore termed Rudriya, 
for Rudra is Agni. Rudra-agnih: the legend which is 
cited ^explanation, from the Taittiriya branch of the 

Notes on Volume I 


Yajush , relates, that # during a battle between the gods 
and Asuras , Agni carried off the wealth which the former 
had concealed; detecting the theft, the gods pursued the 
thief, and forcibly recovered their treasure; Agni wept 
( arodit ) at the loss, and was thence called Rudra. 

Mortal. — The text has only martah , ‘the mortal’; 
the Scholiast supplies Marudgana. 

Sharer of Half the Oblation. — Here also we have 
only the epithet ncmadhita , 'the half-sharer,’ from nema 
a half; to -which, according to the Taittiriya school, Indra 
is entitled at all sacrifices; the other half goes to all the 
gods — sarve deva/i eko ardhuh , Indra eka evaparo ardhah. 

Page 112 

5. Upon their Knees. — Adhijnu: or it may be 

applied to Agni kneeling before them. 

The Gods abandoned, etc. — So the text, Devah 
yajnam atanwata, ‘'The gods verily constituted the sacri- 
fice;” but the expression is still obscure, and refers to 
some legend, probably, which has not been preserved* 

6. Qrihyani pada(ni), — secret or mysterious steps by 
which heaven is to be obtained; meaning the ceremonies 
of the Vedas . These are arranged in three classes, each 
consisting of seven, or the Paka-yajnas , those in which 
food of some kind is offered, as in the Aupasana , IIoma> 
Vaishxvadeva , etc.; the Havir-yajnas , those in which 
clarified butter is presented, as at the Agnyadheya , Darsha 
Purnamasa , and others; and the Soma-yajnas , the principal 
part of which is the libation of the Soma juice, as the 
Agnishtoma , Atyagnishtoma, etc . All these are comprised 
in Agni , because they cannot be celebrated without fire. 

8. These circumstances are stated fin the text abso- 
lutely, without any reference to the instrument, or agent. 
The Scholiast supplies “Agni, by thee, etc.”; but the 
completion of the ellipse is consistent with prevailing 


Rig-veda Translation 

notions; the sun, nourished by burnt-offerings, is enabled 
to send down the rain which supplies the rivers; the 
Angirascts recovered their cattle when carried off by Vala 
through the knowledge obtained by holy sacrifices; and 
Indra sent Sarama on the search, when propitiated by 
oblations with fire. Hence, Agni may be considered as 
the prime mover in the incidents. 

9. It may be doubted if either of the former trans- 
lators has given a correct version of this passage: Rosen 
has, D/u, cunctas luce destitutas per noctes stunt; M. 
Langlois has, Qui s'elevent assurant la march e de ( Vastre ) 
voyageur. The text has, ye vishwa swapatyani , inter- 
preted by Sayana , shohhanani a pa tana-h etu- bh u tan /, — 
those which were the prosperous causes of not falling; 
that is to say, certain sacred acts, which secured to the 
Adityas their station in heaven; or, that immortality, 
the way to which they had made or devised. This inter- * 
pretation is based upon a Taittiriya text: “The Adityas , 
desirous of heaven ( su- varga , or swarga\ said, ‘Let us 
go down to the earth’; they beheld there that ( Shattrin - 
shadratra ) rite of thirty-six nights; they secured it, and 
sacrificed with it.” It is to this, and a similiar rite of 
fourteen nights, connected with the Ayanas , or ‘comings’ 
of the Adityas , that allusion is made. Some reference to 
solar revolutions may be intended although, it is not 
obvious what can be meant, as no such movement is 
effected by thirty-six nights or days, and the Scholiast 
terms them Karmani “, ‘acts or ceremonies’. Atasthuh is 
also explained, they made or instituted: Atasthuh swa- 
patyani means, according to him, chaturdasha-ratra shat - 
trinsadratradityamm ayanadini karmani kritavantah, — they 
made the rites or acts which were the Ayanas and others 
of the Adityas , (and which were for) thirty-six or fourteen 
nights. 4 

Notes on Volume I 293 

Page 113 


10. Two Eyes. — An expression found also in another 
text; or there are, as it were, two eyes of a sacrifice, 
which are the two portions of the clarified butter. 

2. Amati , the term of the text, is explained Rupa or 
Swarupa , — peculiar form or nature ; as this is essentially 
the same in all the modifications of earth, or any other 
element, so Agni is one and the same in all the sacrifices 
performed with fire. 

Like Soul. — As soul is the seat and source of alj 
happiness, so Agni, as the chief agent of sacrifice, is the 
main cause of felicity both here and hereafter. 

Page 114 

8. Like a Shade. — As anything affording shade 
keeps off the heat of the sun, so Agni guards the world 
against affliction. 

Page 115 

3. Vrilra may be here understood, an enemy in 
general; or. Agni may be identified with Indra . 

Page 116 

1. With what Intent jmay We, etc. — That is, it is 
not possible to offer sacrifice, praise, or prayer that shall 
be worthy of Agni. 

2. Sit down, /.<?., — in the chamber where burnt- 
ofterings are presented. 

3. Somapati, which is a rather unusual appellative of 
Indra . The latter name is not in the text, but the deity 
is indicated by Haribhyam , his two steeds. 

Page 117 

2. With Reverence.— T he expression of the text is 
manasa , ‘with the mind’; but the Scholiast reads ntimasa, 
"with reverence,’ asserting that the letters n and m are 


Rig-veda Translation 

3. The Destroyer and Reviver. — The words are 
marya and sadhu; the commentator explains the first, the 
killer or extirpator of all, and the latter, the producer. 

Page 118 

1. Gotama. — The word is Gotamah, in the plural 
whence Rosen renders it Gotamidce; the Scholiast limits 
it to the sense of the singular, asserting that the plural 
is used honorifically only. 

Commendatory (Hymns). — Mantras is supplied by the 
commentator; the text has only dyumnaih, ‘with bright’, 
or those manifesting Agni's worth. 

Page 119 

1. Agni, in his manifestation of lightning, takes part 
in the production of rain by piercing the clouds; the 
dawn is not concerned in the operation; but this is said, 
not to depreciate the excellence of Ushas, but to enhance 
that of Agni. 

Satyah, true, sincere; there is no substantive; but 
Prajah , people, or progeny, is supplied by the commentary; 
Rosen substitutes mulieres , satyah being feminine, but so 
also is Praja. 

3. Direct Ways. — Or uses; as drinking, washing, 
bathing, and the like. 

Page 120 

5. With Many (Flames). — Purvanika ; from puru t 
many, and anika, face or mouth; flames are understood, 
agreeably to a common name of Agni, Jwala-jihva, flame- 
tongued. Rosen has evidently read the mukha of the 
commentary, sukha, and explains purvanika , multis gaudiis 
fruens. „ 

7. Metrical Hymn. — Gayatra; either a portion of 
the Sama so termed, or the Gayatri metre, according to 
the Scholiast. 

Notes on Volume l 


12. Thousand-eyed. — The literal rendering of the 
epithet of the text’ Sahasraksha , which identifies Agni 
with Indra; but Sayana interprets it, having countless 
flames, — asankhyatajwalah. 

Page 121 

1. The Priest. — The Brahma, which the Scholiast 
interprets Brahmana. 

Manifesting Thine Own Sovereignty. — The bur- 
then of this and of all the other stanzas of this hymn is 
archannanu swarajyam; the first term usually implies 
worshipping, honouring, but the commentator gives as*its 
equivalent, prakatayan: swasya swamitwam prakatayan , — 
making manifest his own mastership or supremacy. 

2. Brought by the Hawk. — Shyembhrita , as Rosen 
translates it, accipitri delatus; the Scholiast says it was 
brought from heaven by the Gavatri, having the wings of 
a hawk. 

7. Deceptive Deer. — The commentary says Vritra 
had assumed the form of a deer, but nothing further 
relating to this incident occurs. 

Page 122 

8. Ninety-and-Nine: also 9 Thousand. — Put for 
any indefinite number. 

9. Twenty. — The sixteen priests employed at a 
sacrifice, the Yajamana and his wife, and two functionaries 
entitled the Sadasya and Shamitri, directors, probably, of 
the ceremonies of the assembly, not of the worship. 

15. Who does Know, etc. — The expression is very 

elliptical; ko-virya-parah, being, literally, who — with 
vigour — afar: the Scholiast completes the sentence, as in 
the text. , 

Page 123 

16. Manu or Dadhyanch. — Manush-pita, Manu y 
being the progenitor of all mankind. Dadhyanch, or 


Rig-veda Transl ation 

Dadhichi, is a well-known Rishi, the son of Atharvan , of 
' « 

whom mention subsequently more than once recurs. 

1. Augmented in Strength and Satisfaction. — 
The Scholiast explains this, — “a deity acquiring vigour by 
praise increases”; that is, becomes more powerful and 
mighty. The notion is clear enough, but although 
‘increases’ is the literal rendering of vardhate , it expresses 
its purport but incompletely. 

3. Destroy One and Enrich Another. — We have 
a legend in illustration of this passage: Goiama , the son 
of Rahugana , was the Purohita of the Kuru and Sr in jay a 
princes, and, in an engagement with other kings, propr 
tiated Indra by this hymn, who, in consequence, gave the 
victory to the former. Rosen puts the phrase interroga- 
tively, Quemnam occisurus es, quemnam opulent ia> dab is ? 
but the Scholiast explains kam, whom, by kamchit , any 
one, some one; that is, Indra gives the victory to whom- 
soever he is pleased with. 

Page 124 

1. Be not Different, etc. — The text is merely ma 
atatha iva , — (be) not, as it were, non-such; that is, 
according to Sayana , be not the contrary of that propi- 
tious divinity which thou hast always been to us; the rest 
of the stanza is equally obscure: ‘'Since thou makest us 
possessed of true speech ( sunritavatah ), therefore thou art 
asked {at arthayasa it) arthayase eva”; that is, to accept 
our praises. In this hymn, also, we have a burthen 
repeated at the close of each stanza. 

Page 125 

4. Patrctm hariyojanam , a plate or patera filled with 
hariyojanam ; the appellation of a mixture of fried barley* 
or other grain, and Soma juice. 

Notes on Volume I 


Page 126 

1. Unconscious Rivers. — Vichetasah apah; the 

epithet is explained by the Scholiast, ‘the sources of 
excellent knowledge, — vishishtajnanahetubhutah ; and Rosen 
renders it, accordingly, sapient iam conferentes ; but 
it seems preferable to understand the prefix vi in its sense 
of privation, for it is not very intelligible how the waters 
should confer, or even possess, intelligence. 

2. In this stanza, as usual in the more elaborate 
metres, we encounter strained collocations and elliptical 
and obscure allusions, imperfectly transformed into 
something intelligible by the additions of the Scholiast; 
thus, avail pa sy anti* 'they look down,’ is rendered special 
by adding devah , ‘the gods,’ who look down, it is said, 
upon the sacrificial ladle, ho triyam , well pleased to behold 
it filled with the intended libation. The text, again, has 
only “as diffused light”; the comment adds, “descends 
on earth”. In the next phrase we have, “the gods lead 
that which is pleased by the libation, and wishes for them, 
either by progressive movements, or in an eastern direc- 
tion ( prachair ), as bridegrooms delight.” What is so 
led, and whither? The ladle, chamasa , the altar, vedi\ as 
well as the bride or maiden, kanyaka , are filled up by the 
comment. The same character of brevity and obscurity 
pervades the entire hymn. 

5. Was Born. — Ajani ; but it may mean, as the 
Scholiast says, “the sun appeared, in order to light the 
way to the cave where the cows were hidden.” 

With Him. — With Indra , according to the comment, 
which also identifies Kavya with U shams ; and the latter 
with Bhrigu ; Kavyah Kaveh putra Ushana Briguh , meaning, 
however, perhaps, only that Ushanas was of the family 
of Bhrigu . — Vishnu Purana 9 82, n. 


Rjg-veda Translation 

To Restrain (the Asuras). — The text has only 
‘ yamasya jatam; the comment explains the former, asura- 
nam niyamanartham. 

6. That brings down Blessings. — Swapatyaya, 
resolving this into Su and apatya, Rosen renders it 
egregiam prolem conferntis causa, and M. Langlois has, 
le chef di famille , jaloux d'obtenir une heureuse posterite. 
Sayana understands it differently, and explains it by 
Shobhanapatana hetubhutaya, — for the sake of the descent , 
or coming down, of what is good. 

* * Page 128 

7. This verse and the two following end w'ith the 
unconnected term Anga, which the Scholiast interprets 
‘quick’; but it is more usually an interjection of calling; 
so Rosen has Ohe! M. Langlois, Oh vie ns ! 

8. A C oiled-up Snake. — The text has kslwmpa* 

explained, ahichchhatraka ; properly, a thorny plant, but 
apparently intended by the Scholiast for a snake coiled 
up, or one sleeping in a ring, which is therefore killed 
without difficulty: mandalak arena shayanam , kaschid - 

anayasena hand . Rosen prefers the usual sense, p:*de 
fr udcem velul con (ere t. 

10. Expectant of his Sovereignty. — This, which 
constitutes the burthen of the triad, is rather obscure; the 
text is, vasviranu swarajyam , literally, dwelling after, or 
according to, his own dominion. Sayana does not make it 
more intelligible: “Those cows,” he says, “who, by giving 
milk, are the means of providing habitation ( nivasakari- 
nyah ), remain looking to the kingdom of him, or Indra" ; 
so Rosen has, damicilium procur antes, quie ipsius dominium 
respicientes adstpnt. 

13. Dadhyanch , also named Dadhicha and Dadhichi , 
is a well-known sage in Pauranik legend, of whom, it is 
said, that his bones formed the thunderbolt of Indra . 

Notes on Volume I 


The story seems to have varied from the original Vaidik 
fiction, as we shall have subsequent occasion to notice 
(I. 17. 1). In this place, the story told by the Scholiast 
also somewhat differs. He relates, that while Dadhyanch , 
the son of Atharvan , lived the Asuras were intimidated 
and tranquillized by his appearance, but when he had 
gone to Swarga, they overspread the whole earth. Indr a, 
inquiring what had become of him, and whether nothing 
of him had been left behind, was told that the horse’s 
head with which he had at one time taught the Madhu- 
vidya to the Ashwins , was somewhere in existence, but no 
one knew where. Search was made for it, and it was 
found in the lake Sharyanavat \ on the skirts of Kuril'* 
kshctra; and with the bones of the skull India slew the 
Asuras , or. as otherwise explained, foiled the nine times 
ninety, or eight hundred and ten, stratagems or devices 
of the Asuras or Vritras . The Scholiast accounts for the 
number, by saying, that, in the beginning, the Asuri maya , 
or demoniac illusion, was practised in the three worlds, 
for three periods in each, — past, present, and future, 
whence if was ninefold; each being exerted with three 
shaktis , or energies, made the number twenty-seven; each 
of these again being modified by the three gunas, they 
become eighty-one, and the scene of their display extend- 
ing to each of the ten regions of space, the total reaches 
the nine times ninety of the text, or eight hundred and 
ten. This seems to be pure invention, without any 
rational or allegorical meaning. 

15. The (Solar Rays) Found. — The text has only 
“they found”; the Scholiast, following Yaska ( Nir . 4, 25), 
supplies Aditya-rashmayah , the rays of che sun. Twashtri 
is here used for the sun, being one of the Adityas; or, 
according to the Scholiast, for Indra , to whom Jhe hymn 
is addressed, and who is also one of the Adityas , The 


Rig-veda Translation 

• purport of the stanza is apparently the obscure expression 
of an astronomical fact, known to the authors of the 
Vedas , that the moon shone only through reflecting the 
light of the sun; so it is said, “the rays of the sun are 
reflected back in the bright watery orb of the moon”; 
and again, “the solar radiance, concealed by the night, 
enters into the moon, and thus dispels darkness by night 
as well as by day.” According to the Nirukta, 2, 6, it is 
one ray of the sun (that named Sushumna ) which lights up 
the moon, and it is with respect to that, that its light is 
derived from the sun. The Puranas have adopted the 
doctrine of the Vedas. — Vishnu Parana , 36. 

16. Another interpretation may be assigned to this 
verse, which turns upon rendering Kali by Prajapati , 
instead of who, and gah by words of the Veda, instead of 
horses; making, “ Prajapati combines to-day with the 
burthen of the sacrifice the sacred words that are effective, 
brilliant, essential, emitted from the mouth, animating 
the heart, and productive of happiness: the worshipper 
who fulfils the object of such prayers, obtains Jife.” 

Page 129 

17. Who is aware, etc. — That is, we know it very 
well, and are therefore secure in his presence at this 
ceremony; or Kah may again be explained by Prajapati , 
with the sense of the stanza modified accordingly. 

1 8. According to the Constant Seasons. — Ritubhir 
dhruvebhih; in which ritu may have its ordinary sense of 
‘season’; or the passage may mean, ‘presented by the divi- 
nities called Pints, who preside over sacrifices,’ as in the 
text, Ritavo vai prayajah, — the Ritus are the chief sacri- 
fices; i.e.. Pray 6 ' jade va tali, — the deities presiding over them. 

20. Benefits. — Utayah, benefits, assistances; but it 
may be read, dhutayah, shakers, agitators; the Maruts, 
or winds. 

Notes on Volume I 301 

Page 130 


2. Inaugurated by the Gods, — Ushitasah , wetted, 
sprinkled with holy water by the gods, — devair-abhi- 
shiktah . 

3. Sons of Earth. — Here they are called Gomatarah, 
having for their mother the cow; that is, the earth under 
that type, equivalent to Prishni in the preceding stanza. 

The Waters follow their Path. — That is, rain 
follows the wind. 

5. Radiant. — Arusha is the term of the text, — ‘tie 
radiant,’ which may apply either to the* sun or to the 
Agni of lightning, either being in like manner the source 
of rain. 

Page 131 

9. Twashtri here reverts to his usual office of artisan 
of the gods. 

1 Or Blowing upon their Pipe. — Dhamanto variant. 
The Scholiast explains vanarn to be a lute, a vina with 
a hundred strings, — a sort of Aeolian harp, perhaps; 
dha marital ‘blowing,’ would better apply to a pipe, a wind 

11. In this and the next stanza, allusion is made to 
a legend in which it is related that the Rishi Gotarna , 
being thirsty, prayed to the Maruts for relief, who there- 
upon brought a well from a distance to his hermitage. 
This exploit is subsequently (I. " 1) related of the 

Ashwins . 

Page 132 

2. With or Without Sacrifices. — The expression is 
yajnair-va , ‘with sacrifices or’; the ‘without’ is supplied 
by the Scholiast. 

3. Have Sharpened. — Atakshata , have sharpened, 

have excited or animated, by their offerings. 

302 . Rig-veda Translation 

« Page 133 

1. Inseparable. — A lways associated in troops. 

Partakers of the Evening Oblation. — T he term is 
Rijishinah , which is not very clearly explained; Rijisha , in 
ordinary use, means a frying-pan, but here the Scholiast 
seems to consider it as a synonyme of Soma, the Maruts 
being thus named because they are entitled, at the third 
daily ceremonial, or the evening worship, to a share of 
the effusion of the Rijisha , — Rijishasya abhishavat ; or the 
term may signify, he adds, “the acquirers or receivers of 
the juices,” — Prarjayitarah rasanam ; from rij, to acquire: 
Rosen has, lance sacrificiis culti ; M. Langlois, amis de- 
nos sacrifices . 

Personal Decorations. — Stribhih , covering, or cloth- 
ing; from stri, to cover; an epithet of anjihhih , ornaments; 
swasharirasyachchhadakair abharanaih , — with orna meat s 
covering their own persons. As the word is separated 
from the substantive, however, by the intervening simile, 
“like some rays” ( kechid usra iva), it has been under- 
stood in a different sense by former translator^: thus, 
Rosen has, Ornamentis dignoscuntur , rari lucis radii velut 
qui stellis effunduntur; and M. Langlois, Les Maruts 
brillent sous leurs parures , comme les images sous les feux 
des etoifes; but stribhih cannot have any relation to stars. 

2. Madhuvarnam , having the colour of honey; or, 
according to the commentator, being equally pure or 
pellucid ( swachchha ). 

Page 134 

4. Liberators from Debt. — /.<?., by making their 
worshippers wealthy. 

1. Maruts. -«-T he Scholiast here proposes various 
etymologies of the name Marut , some of which are 
borrowectfrom Yaska , Nir., 11, 13. They sound (ruvanti, 
from ru), having attained mid-heaven ( mitam ); or, They 

Notes on Volume I 


sound without measure ( amitam ); or They shine (from 
ruch) in the clouds made ( mitam ) by themselves; or They 
hasten ( dravanti ) in the sky. All the minor divinities that 
people the mid air are said in the Vedas to be styled 
Maruts, as in the text, “All females whose station is the 
middle heaven, the all-pervading masculine Vayu, and all 
the troops (of demigods), are Maruts Sayana also cites 
the Pauranik tradition of the birth of the forty-nine 
Maruts , in seven troops, as the sons of Kashyapa ( Vishnu : 
Purana, 152). 

Page 135 

4. The Well. — See note on I. 14. 1. 11. 

Page 136 

3. With an Ancient Text. — Purvaya nivida; nivid 
is a synonyme of vach, speech, or a text; here said to be 
a text of the Veda. 

Bhaga, Mitra, etc. — Most of these, here included 
amongst the Vishwadevas, have occurred before; but the 
Scholiast here also explains their functions: — Bhaga and 
Mitra a,re Adilyas, and the latter is especially the lord of 
day, as, by the text, maitram va ahar, — the day is depend- 
ent on Mitra. Aditi is the mother of the gods; Dakshu 
is called a Prajapati, able to make the world; or, he is 
the creator ( Hiranyagarbha ), diffused among breathing or 
living creatures as breath or life; as by the text, Prano 
vai Dakshah, — Daksha verily is breath. Asridh, from 
sridh, to dry up; undrying, unchanging; that is, the 
class of Maruts. Aryaman is the sun, as by the text. 
A sau va aditya aryama, — he, the sun, is Aryaman. Varuna 
is named from vri, to surround, encompassing the wicked 
with his bonds; he is also the lord of. night, as by the 
text, Varuni ratri, — the night is dependent on Varuna 
Soma is twofold; the plant so called on eartji, and the 
moon, as a divinity in heaven. The Ashwins are so 


Rig-veda Translation 

termed either from having horses ( ashwavantau ), or from 
pervading all things, the one with moisture, the other 
with light, according to Yaska , who also states the ques- 
tion; Who were they ? which is thus answered; according 
to some, they are heaven and earth; to others, day and 
night; according to others, the sun and moon; and, 
according to the traditionists ( Aitihasika ), they were two 
virtuous princes. — Nirukta , 12, 1. 

4. Bheshajam ; that medicament which the Ashwins , 
as ttys physicians of the gods, are qualified to bestow. 
No other specificafion is given. 

Mother Earth and Father Heaven. — Earth is so 
termed, as producing all things necessary for life, and 
heaven as sending rain, and therefore indirectly nourish- 
ing all things. 

6. Tarkshya is a patronymic, implying son of 
Triksha , and, according to the Scholiast, Garuda. He is 
termed in the text Arishtanemi , — he who has unharmed or 
irresistible ( arishta ) weapons ( nemi ); or the latter may 
imply, as usual, the circumference of a wheel,— whose 
chariot-wheel is unimpeded; but Arishtanemi occurs in the 
Vayu Purana , as the name of a Prajapati , so that the 
pa ssage might mean Arishtanemi , the son of Triksha , 
which, according to some authorities, is a name of the 
patriarch Kashyapa: the same make Tarkshya a synonyme 
of Aruna , the personified dawn. It is doubtful if we have 
any reference to the vehicle of Vishnu , Garuda . 

7. Seated on the Tongue of Agni. — This may be 
predicated of all the deities, as they receive oblations 
through the mouth # of Agni. 

8. Dsvahitam; whence it may be rendered, as the 
Scholiast proposes, in the singular, understanding by Deva f 
Prajapati , either a patriarch or Brahma. The commen- 

Notes on Volume I 305- 

tator says the limit of human life is 116 or 120 year$,. 
but the next stanza specifies a century. 

Page 137 

9. So that Our Sons become Our Sires. — That is, 
let us not become so feeble and infirm as to be, as it 
were, infants, and to require the paternal care of our 
own sons. 

10. Aditi, literally meaning the independent or the* 
indivisible, may here signify either the earth, or the 
mother of the gods, according to the Scholiast. According 
to Yaska, the hymn declares the might of Aditi, — aditsr 
vibhutim achashte ( Nir ., 4, 23); or, as Sayana, “ Aditi is 
hymned as the same with the universe.” 

Five Classes of Men. — As before noticed, the five 
orders of men are said to be the four castes and the 
outcastes. It is also interpreted five classes of beings, or 
Gods, Men, Gandharvas (including Apsarasas), Serpents 
and Pitris; or, as it occurs in the Nirukta, 3, 8, Gandhar- 
vas, Pitris, Gods, Asuras, and Rakshasas. 

Generation and Birth. — Jatam is the actual birth of 
beings, Janitwam, the faculty of being born, generation. 
Rosen renders the terms, natum and nasciturum. 

1. Aryaman is said to be the son in his function o 
separating day from night. 

5. Vishnu is said to mean the pervader, or pervading 

6. The Winds. — The term of the text is Evayavah, 
which is explained by the Scholiast, the troop of Maruts 
from their going with horses ( evaih ). 

Page 138 

3. Rajno te Varunasya. The Scfiojiast would seem 
to argue that Varuna here means that which is enclosed 
in a cloth, or the Soma plant that has been purchased for 
a sacrifice, — Yagartham ahritah krito vastrena^ritah Som 


Rig-veda Translation 

Yarurnh, chiefly because Soma is the king of the Brahmans; 
as by the text of the Veda, So/no asmakam Brahmananam 
Raja, — Soma is the king of us Brahmans; and Somarajano 
Brahmanah , — the Brahmans have Soma for king. But in 
that sense the moon, not the plant, is usually understood 
by Soma, and there does not appear any reason for 
understanding the term Varum in any other than its usual 
acceptation. The title of Raja we have already seen is 
not unfrequently assigned to him, although, as the follow- 
ing^ tan zas show, it was equally given to Soma. 

‘ Page 139 

4. Illustrious Soma. — Or royal ( Rajan ) Soma. 

5. The Sovereign of the Pious .—Satpatis twam Raja 
uta. Sat may be explained, also, according to the Schol- 
iast, by Brahman, making the sentence, “the protector, 
or lord (Pali), or the king (Raja), of the Brahmans”. 

Thou art Holy Sacrifice. — Soma may be consi- 
dered as identifiable with sacrifice, from the essential part 
it performs in it (tadrupo bhavati sadhyatvad yajnanam). 

Page 141 

23. There is evidently great confusion in this hymn 
between Soma, the moon, and Soma, the acid Asclepias. 
Few passages indicate the former distinctly, except, 
perhaps, verse 22, which alludes to the function of scatter- 
ing darkness by light. 

1. These Divinities of the Morning. — We have 
the term Ushasah in the plural, intending, according to 
the commentator, the divinities that preside over the 
morning; but, according to Yaska, the plural is used 
honorifically only, for the singular personification. — 
Nirukta, 12 , 7 . . . 

Progressed Mothers. — Or matri may mean simply 
maker, author; authors of light, — bhaso nirmatryah . — 
Nirukta, \l, 7 . 

Notes on Volume I 


3. Illuminati^. — Arch anti; literally, worship; that is, 
the heavens; but the term is used for spreading over, or 

Like Warriors. — The text has only “like warriors”; 
the Scholiast explains the comparison, — “as they spread 
with bright arms along the front of the array, so the rays 
of the dawn spread along the sky before the coming of 
the sun.” 

Page 142 

4. Nritur iva, ‘like a barber,’ is ^he phrase of the 
text; or Nrituh may mean a dancing-girl, when the 
translation will be, “ Ushas displays graces, like a dancing- 
girl” ( peshansi vapatd); the former meaning either dark- 
ness or elegance, the latter, either to cut off, or to 
possess. There is no point of similitude expressed in 
Rosen’s version, Tenebras dissipat Aurora, veluti saltatrix. 

5. The Daughter of the Sky. — Duhita divah, the 
daughter of heaven, or the sky. 

7. The Exciter of Pleasant Voices. — With the 
appearance of dawn, the cries of various animals and 
birds, and the voices of men, are again heard. 

Page 143 

10. Like the Wife of a Hunter. — L ike a Shwaghni; 
literally, the wife of a dog-killer, but explained Vyadhastri, 
as in the text. 

11. The Spontaneously Retiring Night. — Swasa- 
ram is the only term in the text, explained, Swayarn 

* sarantim, — going of her own accord; the Scholiast adds 
night, otherwise, we might have understood it in its usual 
sense of ‘sister’; making night the sister of morning. 

The Bride of the Sun. — Jarasya yosha. Jara, 
meaning the causer of the decay, or disappearance, of 
night, is explained by Surya, the, sun. 


308 Rig- veda Translation 

, 12. Unimpeding Sacred Ceijemonies. — Aminati 

daivyani vratani, not injuring, that is, favouring, divine 
rites or offerings to the gods, which are to be performed 
by daylight, or after dawn; as by the text, na ratrau na 
sayam asti devaya ajushtam, — sacrifice is not acceptable 
to the gods at night, or in the evening. 

17. As before observed, the Ashwins are sometimes 
identified with the sun and moon. 

Page 144 

.4. The Offspring of Brisaya. — Brisayasya shesha; 
the latter is a syhonyme of apatya, offspring. — Nirukta, 
3, 2. Brisaya is said to be a synonyme of Twashtri, here 
styled an Asura. The offspring of Twashtri is Vritra; 
and the agency of Agni and Soma in his death is 
explained by identifying them with the two vital airs. 
Prana and Apana, the separation of which from Vritra 
was the approximate cause of his death. 

And you have acquired, etc. — By the destruction of 
Vritra, the enveloping cloud, or gathered darkness, the 
sun was enabled to appear in the sky. , 

5. The Notorious Imputation. — The imputation, or 
charge, or Brahmanicide, was incurred by Indra , it is said, 
in killing Vritra, who was a Brahman, but which guilt he 
transferred to rivers, women, and trees. This looks rather 
like a Pauranik legend. One of a more Vaidik character 
is also given; the rivers were defiled by the dead body 
of Vritra, which had fallen into them; their waters were 
consequently unfit to bear any part in sacred rites until 
they were purified by Agni and Soma, that is, by obla- 
tions to fire, and libations of Soma juice. 

6. The Wind brought, etc. — The legend relates 
that Vayu brought Agni from heaven at the desire of 
Bhrigu, when performing a sacrifice; Soma was brought 
irom Swarga, on the top of Mount Meru, by Gayatri, 

Notes on Volume I 


in the shape o£ a hawk; these are clearly allegorjpal 
allusions to the early use of fire and the Soma plant in 
religious ceremonies. 

Page 145 

9. The Chief of the Gods. — The term is simply 
Devoir a. explained deveshu prashastah. Another text is 
quoted, which states that Agni and Soma are they who 
are the two kings of the gods ( Rajanau va etau devanam 
yad agnishomau ). 

Page 146 , 

1. Let us not Suffer, etc. — This last clause is the 
burden of all the stanzas except the concluding two: 
Sakhye ma rishamu vayam tava , — May we not be injured 
in or by thy friendship; that is, according to the Scholiast, 
Do thou preserve us. 

3. The Adityas. — T he sons of Aditi, i.e., all the 

6. The Family Priest. — Agni is here identified with 
the chief of the sixteen priests engaged at solemn sacri- 
fices. , He is the Adhwaryu, usually called the reciter of 
the Yajush, here defined by the Scholiast as the presenter 
of the offerings; he is the Hotri, or invoking priest; he 
is the Prastotri, or the Maitravaruna, whose duty it is to 
direct the other priests what to do and when to perform 
their functions; he is the Potri, or priest so termed, and 
the family or hereditary Purohita; or Purohita may be 
the same as the Brahma of a ceremony, being to men 
what Brihaspati is to the gods. 

Page 147 

8. Gods. — Deva. All the gods are here considered 
to be but portions or members of Agni. 

Foremost. — Purva, before; the Scholiast explains this 
by mukhya, principal; otherwise, it might be thought that 
we had here an allusion to chariot-races. ' 


Rig-veda Translation 

12. Below (the Heavens). — Below Swarga loka, or 
in the Antariksha, or firmament. 

Page 148 

16. This verse terminates the following hymns, with 
two exceptions, as far as the hundred and first Sukta. 
Mitra, Varuna, and Aditi have been before noticed. By 
Sindhu, is to be understood the divinity presiding over, 
or identified with, flowing water; and it may mean either 
the sea, or flowing streams collectively, or the river Indus. 
Prithivi and Dyu are the personified earth and heaven. 
These are requested to honour, meaning to preserve or 
perpetuate, whatever blessing has been asked for (tan 
mamahantam); from malm, to venerate or worship; tad , 
that, refers here to Ayus, or life. 

1. Of Different Complexions. — Virupe, of various 
nature, or, here, complexions; black and white, or night 
and day. Day is said to be the mother of fire, which is 
then, as it were, in an embryo state, and is not fully 
manifested or bom until it is dark: so the sun is in the 
womb of night, and is born, or shines, in the mo.rning; 
Bari, or the sun, being manifested in the morning, is 
then to be worshipped; Agni, shining at night, is to be 
worshipped in the evening, — tasma agnaye sayam huyate 
Suryaya pratar, which is rather at variance with the 
preliminary statement, that the Agni of the hymn is the 
one entitled to a share of the morning oblation ( Ushasi 
havirbhagyo agnirasti sa devata); therefore, it is said, the 
Agni is that endowed with the properties of dawn; or it 
may be the simple, discrete Agni ( aushasagunavishishto 
Agni, shuddho Agnir va). We must therefore consider 
Agni to be treated identical with Bari, or the sun, as 
well as referred to in his own personification. 

2. This stanza is somewhat differently interpreted, 
jhe Ten ar6 said by the Scholiast to be, in one accepta- 

Notes on Volume I 


tion, the ten regions of space, which generate the electrical 
fire, or lightning, as an embryo in the clouds, through 
the agency of the winds; as in the text, “wind is the cause 
of fire, fire of wind” ( Agner hi vayuh karanam, vayor 
agnih). The term in the text for wind, or its agency, is 
iwashtuh, which is here said to mean ‘brilliant,’ — from 
“the brilliant central proximity of wind” ( diptanmadhya ~ 
mad vayoh sakashat). Rosen connects iwashtuh with 
garbham, and renders them fulminatoris parentem. He 
also follows the explanation of the Ten, which applies 
it to the ten fingers, who generate Agni through the*act 
of attrition as an embryo in the sticks. Sayana gives 
both interpretations. 

Inherent. — Vibhritram, deposited in all creatures; 
that is, in the capacity of the digestive faculty, which is 
referred to the action of natural heat. 

Page 149 

3. As submarine fire, Agni is born in the ocean; as 
the sun, in heaven; and as lightning, in the firmament. 
In his ‘character of the sun, he may be said to be the 
distributor of time and space; regulating the seasons, 
and indicating the points of the horizon. 

4. The Hidden Agni. — Latent heat; the natural 
heat extant in the waters, in the woods, and in all fixed 
and moveable things, although not perceptible to 

He Begets his Mothers. — Agni, in the form of 
lightning, may be considered as the son of the waters 
collected in the clouds, and those waters he is said to 
generate by the oblations which he conveys; as in the 
Smriti, it is said, — “Oblations offered’ in fire ascend to 
the sun; rain is produced from the sun, corn from rain, 
and thence spring mankind.” 


Rig-veda Translation 

He Issues from the Ocean. — Agni is thought to rise 
‘ in the morning in the shape of the sun from out of the 
ocean, — upasthat ( samudrat ) nirgachchhati. 

5. Above the Flanks of the Waving Waters. — 
Above, on the side, or tip, of the crooked waters, — 
jihmanam apam upasthe. Agni here is the lightning, which 
appears on the skirts of the unevenly-disposed, or undu- 
lating rain falling from the clouds. 

Approaching the Lion. — Sinha, the Scholiast con- 
siders as applicable to Agni, to imply his ability to suffer 
or*be o\tTcome,—sahana-shilam, cibhibhavanashilam: there 
does not seem to be any objection to the metaphorical use 
of the literal meaning of the word, — ‘a lion’. 

6. Both the Auspicious Ones. — Both, may also 
intimate heaven and earth, or the two pieces of wood 
rubbed together to produce flame. 

8. The Source of the Rains. — Budhna is the term 
in this and in the next verse for the antariksha, or firma- 
ment, as the root, or source of the rains. 

Page 150 , 

10. In the New-sprung Parents. — The text has 
merely navasu prasushu , — in the new parents, or mothers; 
that is, in the Oshadhis, the annuals, or the cereal ia, 
which ripen after the rains, and bear food, being impreg- 
nated by the terrestrial Agni. 

1. The Waters and Voice, etc. — The Agni alluded 
to is the ethereal or electric fire, combined at its produc- 
tion with rain and with sound. 

The Giver of Sacrificial Wealth.— as the con- 
veyer of oblations, the term is Dravinoda, the giver of 
wealth; but the wjealth is that of sacrifice, or abundance 
of clarified butter. 

2. The Progeny of Manus. — Ayu is said by the 
Scholiast *to be another name of Manu: what is intended 

Notes on Volume I 


by the progeny of the Manus is not very obvious, but it 
appears to intend •simply mankind; the Scholiast says: 
being hymned by Manu, he created all the offspring of 
Manu (Mamina stutah san manavih sarvah prajah ajanayai). 

3. The Chief of the Gods. — The term is prathama , 
— the first, which the commentator interprets by mukhya , 

Page 151 

5. To One Infant. — Agni , whom they nourish with 
the oblations offered during their continuance. 

Page 152 

1. May Our Sin be Repented of. — Agham a pa nah 
shoshudat ; from shuch , to sorrow, in the intensative form, 
and the Vaidik imperative, (let) with apa prefixed, although 
locally detached. The commentator proposes two inter- 
pretations: “Let our sin pass away from us, and light 
upon our adversaries”; or, “Let our sin, affected by 
grief, perish.” Rosen renders it, nostrum eripietur scelus - 

4. May We Obtain Posterity. — Prajayemahi vayam; 
from jan , to be born, — May we be born successively in 
the persons of our posterity. Rosen has, vincamus tuo 
auxilio ; but this is evidently an oversight, from con- 
founding the radical with ji-jaye, conquering. M. 
Langlois follows his rendering, with some additions, — 
O Agni , si ces chefs de famille , si nousmemes , nous nous 
avancons avec respect , puissions nous obtenir la victoire. 

Page 153 

1. Vaishwanara. — Vaishwanara implies either he 
who rules over all (vishwa) men ( nara ), or who conducts 
them (nara) to another region; either to heaven through 
oblations, or possibly to future life through the funeral 

He Accompanies the Rising Sun. — E ither as the 
combined heat with solar radiance, or, it is* said, that. 

314 Rig-veda Translation 

at the rising of the sun, in proportion as the solar rays* 
descend to earth, so the rays of the terfestrial fire ascend,, 
and mix with them. 

2. Who is Present. — Vrishta , explained by sans- 
prishta , in contact with, or nihita , placed, or present in 
the sky, — Agni is in contact with, or present, in the sun; 
on earth, in sacred and domestic fire, and in herbs, or 
annuals, as the cause of their coming to maturity. 

3. May Precious Treasures, etc. — Rosen has, fac 
nos opulentos; but the maghavanah of the text cannot be 
the accusative plural, which would be either Maghavatah , 
or Maghonah: it is the adjective of the word immediately 
preceding, rayah , riches, here said to mean wealth in 
family, or sons, grandsons, etc. 

I. 15. 6. — There is nothing remarkable in this Sukta, 
except its brevity, consisting of a single stanza. 

Page 154 

I. 15. 7. Vrishagir. — We have no mention of 

Vrishagir and his sons in the Pur anas. 

4. Swiftest among the Swift. — A ngirobh irangims- 
tama , — the most Angiras of Angirasas , which might be 
thought to refer to the Rishis so named; but the com- 
mentator derives it from ang, to go, and explains 
angirasah by gantarah , goers: those who go swiftly. 

Page 155 

6. The Varshagiras are supposed to address this 
prayer to Jndra , that they might have daylight, in which 
to attack their enemies, and to recover the cattle that 
had been carried away by them; or, that the light may be 
withheld from their opponents. 

8. As he Grants them the Light, etc. — The 
expression jyotish , light, and chit-tamasi , in the darkness 
of thought,, may also be applied more literally, and 

Notes on Volume I 315 

express the hope that Indra will give the light of know- 
ledge to darkness of understanding. 

Page 156 

14. Through Strength. — Shavasa-manam, the dis- 
tributor of all things, through his power; or it may mean 
that he is the prototype of everything endued with vigour. 

15. The Limit of the Strength, etc. — The text 
has, na yasya deva devata; the latter is said to be put 
for devasya, a Vaidik license, and is explained, “endowed 
with the properties of giving, etc.” ( danadi-guna-yuktasya ). 

16. Amongst Human Hosts. — Nahushishu vikshu: 
nahusha is explained by ‘man’; whence the derivative 
will mean, manly, or human; vish also imports, ‘man’; 
whence Rosen renders the phrase, inter humanas gentes. 
The Scholiast interprets vikshu by senalakshanasu prajasu, 
— people designated as an army. 

Page 157 

18. Shimyus.-— The commentary explains these, 
‘enemies’ and Rakshasas , but they more probably designate 
races not , yet subjected by the Vaidik Hindus, or Arians. 

White-complexioned Friends. — Sakhibhih shwitnye- 
bhili. These, according to the Scholiast, are the winds, 
or Maruts; but why they should have a share of the 
enemy’s country ( shatrunam bhumim ), seems doubtful. 
Allusion is more probably intended to earthly friends or 
worshippers of Indra, who were white ( shwitnya ) in com- 
parison with the darker tribes of the conquered country. 

1. The Wives of Krishna. — Rijishwan is said to be 
a king, the friend of Indra; Krishna to be an Asura, who 
was slain, together with his wives, that none of his 
posterity might survive. Krishna, the . Ijlack, may be 
another name for Vritra, the black cloud; or we may 
have here another allusion to the dark-complexioned 
aborigines. * 


Rig-veda Translation 

2. Shambara and Pipru. — Shambara and Pipru are 
both termed Asuras; the latter is aiso styled avratam , — 
not performing, or opposing vratas , or religious rites. 

Shushna. — Ashusham Shush nam, the dryer up; who 
is without being dried up, who cannot be absorbed. 

Page 158 

5. Brahmanc , that is, for Angiras or the Angirasas , 
who, according to the Scholiast, were of the Brahmanical 
caste. Several passages concur in stating the cows to have 
b£en stolen from the Angirasas , and Angiras cannot be 
identified with * Brahma ; the term used, therefore, very 
probably denotes a Brahmana; so Rosen has, Brahmani 
tribuit vaccas . 

7. Rudras. — Indra is here said to be radiant through 
identity with the sun, and the Rudras to be the same as 
the Maruts in their character of vital airs, or Prana; as 
it is said in another text, ‘‘When shining, he rises, having 
taken the vital airs of all creatures” ( sarvesham bhutanam 
pranan adayodeti); hence, also, the subservience of the 
Rudras to the expansion of voice, or speech. , Another 
application of the etymological sense of Rudra is here 
given by Sayana , deriving it, as elsewhere, from the 
causal of rud , to weep. When the vital airs depart from 
the body, they cause the kindred of the deceased to 
weep; hence they are called Rudras . 

8. The Three Luminaries. — The three fires; or the 
sun in heaven, lightning in mid-air, and fire, sacred or 
domestic, on earth. 

9. Efficient, etc. — O r the epithets may be applied 
to putra , a son, understood, — may Indra give us (a son), 
an offererof praiies, all-wise, and the subduer of foes; and 
(give us) also a chariot foremost in battle. 

Page 161 

l. *As if it WERE t Present with them.— T he term is 
parachais , which is rathe® equivocal. Rosen renders the 

Notes on Volume I 


phrase, — Contra ipsorum inimicos directo rohore tuo; but 4 
it rather means the contrary, — inverse, averted (para - 
chinam , paranmukham ); but the other sense, proposed by 
the Scholiast, seems preferable, — abhimukham eva , as if 

Are in combination with. — The sun and fire are 
equally, it is said, the lustre of Indra . In the day, fire is 
combined (samprichyate) with the sun; in the night, the 
sun is combined with fire. 

2. Ahi and Vritra have on former occasions been 


considered as synonymes; here they are distinct, but 
mean, most probably, only differently-formed clouds. 
Rauhina, termed an Asura, is, in all likelihood, something 
of the same sort, — a purple, or red, cloud. 

3. We have here the Dasyu and Arya placed in oppo- 
sition; the one as the worshipper, the other as the enemy 
of the worshipper. Dasih, as the adjective to Purah, 
cities, is explained, of, or belonging to, the Dasyus. The 
mention of cities indicates a people not wholly barbarous, 
although, the term may designate villages or hamlets. 

4. Possessing a Name. — Nama bibhrat. The Scho- 
liast interprets nama, strength, “that which is the 
bender or prostrator of foes”; from nam, to bow down; 
but it does not seem necessary to adopt any other than 
the usual sense. 

Ages of Man. — Manushema yugani, — these mortal 
yugas; the Krita, Tret a, etc., according to the Scholiast, 
which Indra successively evolves, in the character of the 

Page 1 62 

1. At the Season of Sacrifice.— We have only 
‘for the season of sacrifice’, prapitwe, for prapte, literally, 
‘arrived,’ synonymous in the Nirukta, 3, 20, with adverbs 
signifying proximity, — near, nigh,, at hand. The’Scholiast 

318 Rig-veda Translation 

supplies, yagakale prapte , — the time of sacrifice being 

Page 163 

3. (The Asura). — Presently named Kuyava; his 
exploits are obscurely alluded to, and the river Shipha 
is not elsewhere found. 

4. Vagrant. — Aya is said by the Scholiast to be an 
appellative of Kuyava; from ay, to go, — one going about 
to do mischief to others. 

Kuljshi and Vjrapatni Rivers. — Neither of these is 
found in the Pauranik lists. 

5. Of- the Dasyu. — O f Kuyava, according to the 
commentary; intending, possibly, by him, one of the 
chiefs of the barbarians. 

Page 164 

1. The Graceful-moving Moon. — Chandramah su- 
parnah; the latter the Scholiast explains, shobhana-patana, 
the well, or elegantly, going; or it may mean, connected 
with the ray of the sun called suparna, the combination 
with which gives the moon its light. 

Your Abiding-Place. — This refers to the supposed 
position of Trita at the bottom of the well, which, being 
covered over, shuts out from him all visible objects. (See 
the story of Trita, note on I. 10. 2. 5.) 

Be Conscious of this. — The text has only, “Heaven 
and earth, know of this of me” ( vittam me asya rodasi ); 
that is, according to Sayana, either, “Be aware of this my 
affliction,” or, “Attend to this my hymn”. 

3. Be Excluded from it. — By failure of posterity, 
such as Trita anticipates for himself; as by a text quoted: 
“ By a son a mjic conquers the worlds: there is no world 
(/oka) for one who has no son.” It may be observed of 
this reference, that although the Scholiast cites the Vsda, 
iti shrutih, the passage j occurs in the Aitareya Brahmana. 

Notes on Volume I 


It may possibly be found in the text of a hymn, but it is 
also possible that Sayana includes the Brahmana under 
the designation Shruti: in which case we must receive his 
citations generally with reserve, for the Brahmana is not 
the Shruti as applicable to the original Vaidik text, although 
it is so regarded by all the native interpreters of the Vedas . 
(See Introduction.) 

4. The First of the Gods. — According to the 
Aitareya Brahmana , agnir-vai devanam avamah; which 
the Scholiast explains, the first-produced of all the gods; 
as by another text, agnir-mukham prathamo devatanam , — 
Agni is the mouth, the first of the deities. 

Page 165 

6. Varuna and Aryaman. — Varuna is here explained 
to mean, the obstructor of evil, as what is undesired 
(i anishtanivaraka ); Aryaman , the restrainer of enemies 
(arinam niyanta). 

8. Weaver’s Threads. — Which, according to the 
Scholiast, have been steeped in rice-water, to render 
them mor,e tenacious, and which are therefore palatable 
to rats; or it may be rendered, “ As a rat gnaws, or licks, 
its tail, having just dipped it in oil. or grease.” The prac- 
tice of thickening threads with starch we have noticed 
by Manu , where the law requires that the cloth returned 
shall be heavier than the thread given, on this account 
(VIII. 397). 

9. Navel. — It is not very clear what is intended by 
the ter mnabhi. Rosen renders it, domicile: Hi quiseptem 
solis radii sunt , inter illos meum domicilium collocatum est; 
but it is not so explained in the commentary, and the ordi- 
nary sense of nabhi is ‘navel,’ in which the Scholiast seems 
to understand it; identifying the solar rays with the seven 
vital airs abiding in the ruling spirit ( teshu suryarashmishu 
adhyatmam saptapranarupena varjamaneshu ) ; alluding. 


Rig-veda Translation 

perhaps, though obscurely, to the mystic practice of 
contemplating the umbilical region as the seat of, the soul. 

Son of the Waters. — Aptya; explained, Apam putra , 
son of the waters; but it may be doubted if it can properly 
bear such an interpretation, for, as admitted by the 
Scholiast, such a patronymic from Apa would be properly 
Apya , and the insertion of the t is an anomaly. 

10. The Five Shedders of Benefits. — They are said 
to be Indra , Varuna , Agni, Aryaman , and Savitri ; or, 
according to other texts, Fire, Wind, the Sun, the Moon, 
and the Lightning; for these, according to Shatyayana , 
are all luminous in their respective spheres; or fire upon 
earth, wind in the firmament, the sun in heaven, the moon 
in the planetary region, and lightning in the clouds. The 
Taittiriyas substitute for lightning, the Nakshatras , or 
asterisms, shining in the Swar-loka. 

11. The Wolf crossing, etc. — Alluding, it is said, to 
a story of a wolf who was about to swim across a river 
to devour Trita , but was deterred by the brightness of the 
solar rays. According to Yaska , as quoted by Sayana y 
he interprets Vrika , the moon, and A pah the firmament, 
and renders the passage, “The rays of the sun prevent 
the moon from appearing, or being visible, in the firma- 

Page 166 

12. Commended (Vigour). — Bala , strength, is said 

by the commentator to be understood; of which ukthyam , 
praiseworthy, is an epithet. Rosen takes ukthyam for 
the substantive, in its not unusual sense of ‘hymn’, and 
translates the text, nova hcec cantilena dicata est vohis ; 
DU. * « 

15. Brahma krinoti Varunah . The first is here ex- 
plained rakshanarupakarma , the act which is of the nature 
of preserving. 

Notes on Volume I 


16. Asau yah pantha adityo divi pravachyam kritah. 
One meaning of pantfia is given as an epithet of Aditya, 
the sun, as satatagami, the ever-going; but the more usual 
sense is a road, a path, and this interpretation is borne 
out by texts which represent the sun as the road to heaven; 
as, Suryadwarena virajah prayanti, — those who are free 
from soil go by the gate of the sun. 

Is not to be Disregarded, etc. — For the gods depend 
for existence indirectly upon the sun, who regulates the 
seasons at which sacrifices are offered. 

Page 167 

18. As a Carpenter. — The meaning of the compa- 
rison is not very clear, and is only rendered intelligible 
by the additions of the commentary. The wolf, like the 
carpenter, was urdhwabhimukha (standing in presence 
erect). The passage admits of a totally different render- 
ing, by interpreting vrika, the moon, and uniting ma 
sakrit , me once, into masakrit, month-maker. He, the 
moon, it is said, having contemplated the constellations 
going along the path of the sky, became united with one 
of them; paying, therefore, no attention to Trita in the 

3. Pitris. — The Agnishwattas and others. — See Manu , 
III. 195. 

Page 168 

4. In the first clause, it is said Agni is alluded to; in 
the second, Pushan is named; but the term is explained 
by the Scholiast, poshakam devam, — nutrientum deum. 

5. Implanted in Thee by Manu. — Sham yor at te 
Manurhitam, — The good, or blessing of those two (things, 
or properties) which was placed in them .by Manu. The 
two are explained in the commentary as in the translated 

6. Kutsa here identifies himself apparently wfth Trita. 


Rig-veda Translation 

The Encourager of Good Works. — Shachi-pati; 
' Which might be rendered, ‘the husband of Shachi'; but 
the more usual sense of Shachi in the Veda is karma, act, 
or rite; and it is so rendered in this place by the com- 

Page 169 

4. The Two. — We have merely in the text the epi- 
thets in the dual number; the commentator supplies 
the Adhwaryu and his assistant priest. 

Page 170 

* 7. Yad brahmani rajani va. The first is explained, 
a Brahman who is a different institutor of a sacrifice 
( Brahmane anyasmin yajamane); the second, by Kshatriye , 
a man of the second, or military caste. 

8. Men who are Inoffensive, Malevolent, etc. — 
The terms thus rendered, in conformity to the explana- 
tions of the Scholiast, would seem rather to be intended 
for proper names, the names of tribes or families well 
known in the Puranas, being severally, Yadus , Turvashas, 
Druhyus, Anus , and Purus, descendants of the five sons of 
Yayati, similarly named. ( Mahabh . I, 138.) Here, 
however, Yadu is explained by ahinsaka, non-injurious; 
Turvasha, by hinsaka, injurious; Druhyu, by upadravech- 
chhu, tyrannical; Anu, by pranair yukta, having breath, or 
life, wherewith to acquire knowledge and perform religious 
acts; and Puru, by kamaih purayitavya, to be filled full 
of the objects of desire. The meanings may be supported 
by the etymology of the words, but the interpretation 
seems to be a needless refinement. 

Page 171 

2. An Un.worthy Bridegroom. — Vijamatri. The 
prefix vi indicates, according to the Scholiast, a son-in- 
law ( jamatri ) who is not possessed of the qualifications 
required by the Vedas, and who is therefore obliged to 

Notes on Volume I 


-conciliate his father-in-law by liberal gifts; which is, 
in fact, paying for, 6r buying, his wife; as in the inter- * 
pretation of this stanza by Yaska , it is said ( Nirukta , 
6, 9), that the vijamatri is the asusamapta” the unful- 
filled, or unaccomplished, bridegroom, which implies, 
according to some, that he is the husband of a purchased 
bride ( kritapati ). This recognition in the Veda , of the 
act of receiving money from the bridegroom, is at vari- 
ance with the general tenor of the law of marriage as laid 
down by Manu , which condemns the acceptance of any- 
thing by the father of a maiden, beyond a complimentary 
present, and censures the receipt of money, as equivalent 
to a sale: 44 Let no father who knows the law receive a 
gratuity, however small, for giving his daughter in marri- 
age, since the man who, through avarice, takes a gratuity 
for that purpose is a seller of his offspring.” (Laws of 
Manu , III. 51.) And again: “A bribe, whether large or 
small, is an actual sale of the daughter, although a bull 
and cow might be given at a marriage of saintly persons 
or Rishis .” {Ibid. 53.) We have here, therefore, an indi- 
cation of a different condition of the laws of marriage* 

The Brother of a Bride. — The Syala, the brother of 
the maiden, who makes her gifts through affection. The 
word is derived by Yaska from sya 9 a winno wing-basket, 
and la , for laja , fried grains, which are scattered at the 
marriage ceremony by the bride’s brother. 

4. The Sacred Prayer. — Devi dhishana , divine 
speech; mantrarupa , in the form of prayer. 

Page 172 

7. Rays of the Sun. — By the rays of the sun, in this 
place, it is said, are intended the radiance of Indra and 
Agni , as identical with the sun; by praising the latter, 
therefore, Indra and Agni are praised also. * 


Rig-veda Translation 

Together. — Sapitwam is explained, sahapraptavyam 
sthanam , a place to be obtained together; that is, accord- 
ing to the commentator, the world of Brahma , to which 
the pious proceed by the path of light, etc. ( archiradi - 
margena Brahmalokam upasaka gachchhanti). 

Page 173 

2. Sudhanwan , the father of the Ribhus , was a 
descendant of Angiras ; so is Kutsa; therefore they are 
related; although, as Kutsu is the son of Angiras , it seems 
not very consistent to call them his kinsmen of a former 
period ( pranchah , or purva-kalina). Rosen calls them 
sapientes ; but this is an evident inadvertence, as the 
epithet is apaka , unripe; aparipakwajnanah y immature 
in wisdom. 

3. Who is not to be Concealed. — In the preceding 
verse, Savitri , derived from su , to offer oblations, might 
mean merely the presenter of oblations; but here we have 
evidently the sun alluded to. 

The Asura. — Twashtri; as in a former passage. — 
See note on I. 5. 3. 6. 

6. Nribhyah; yajnasya netribhyah; as in the text, 
Ribhavo hi yajnasya netarah , — “The Ribhus are the leaders 
of the sacrifice”; on which account they obtained immor- 
tality; or the term may be connected with antarikshasya , 
which precedes in the text, and may mean, as Rosen has 
it, to the chiefs of the firmament (aeris regibus ). 

Ribhus. — A text of the Veda identifies the Ribhus 
with the solar rays ( Adityarashmayo api Ribhava uchyante). 
The Ribhus are, indeed, said to be the rays of the sun. 

Page 174 

8. Reunited the Mother with, etc. — A story is 
related, that a 'Aishi, whose cow had died, leaving a calf 
prayed to the Ribhus for assistance, on which, they formed 
a livin&cow, and covered it with the skin of the dead one, 

Notes on Volume I 325 

from which the calf imagined it to be its own mother. 

See I. 5. 3. 4. 

9. Vajebhir no vajasatau aviddhi may be also render- 
ed, “protect us in battle with your horses”. 

1. See the preceding hymn; also Hymn I. 5. 3. 

2. Resplendent. — Ribhumat; explained, having 
much light; for according to the Nirukta etymology, 
Ribhu means much light, from uru, much, and bha, to 

Page 175 

4. The Mighty Indra. — Ribhukshanam IndraiA 
might be, Indra, who is Ribhukshin, of which Ribhuksha- 
nam is the accusative. In the following expressions, 
Ribhun and vajan, plural accusatives, we are to understand, 
according to the commentator, the three sons of 
Sudhanwan, — Ribhu, Vibhu, and Vaja. 

1. With those Aids. — Utibhih, instr. plur. of uti, 
help, aid, assistance, protection. It is rather an awk- 
ward term to render into English with the sense of plu- 
rality, although not without precedent. 

Page 176 

3. Gave Milk to the Barren Cow. — Alluding, 
according to the commentary, to the cow of a Rishi, named 
Shayu, to which, although barren, the Ashwins, at his 
entreaty, gave abundance of milk. 

4. Endowed with the Vigour of his Son. — Agni is 
said to be the son of Vayu; as by the text, Vayor-Agnih, 
either as generated, in the character of digestive warmth, 
by the vital airs, or as having been excited into flame by 
the wind at the time of creation. 

Measurer of the Two Worlds. — Dwimatri may be 
applied to the wind, in conjunction with Agni , as the 
respective occupants of the earth and the firmament, the 
former being the region of Agni, the latter of Vayu; or 


Rig-veda Translation 

it may be rendered, as in former instances, the son of 
two mothers, or the two sticks used for attrition, and 
thence be applicable to Agni . 

Learned in the Three Kinds of Sacrifice. — Or Tri- 
mantu , acquainted with the pafca-yajnas, or offerings of 
food; the havir yajnas , or oblations of clarified butter, 
and the Soma yajnas , or libations of Soma juice. In this 
sense, Trimantu is synonymous, apparently, with I Kakshivat, 
whose name is supplied by the Scholiast. 

5. Rebha and Vandana are said to have been Rishis 
who were cast into wells by the Asuras. According to 
the Nitimanjari , they brought this upon themselves, by 
maintaining a friendly intercourse with the Asuras . 
Kanwa is said also to have been thrown by them into 
darkness. In these, and similar instances subsequently 
noticed, we may possibly have allusions to the dangers 
undergone by some of the first teachers of Hinduism 
among the people whom they sought to civilize. 

6. Antaka is called a Rajarshi , whom the Asuras 
threw into a pond or a well. 

Of Bhujyu , the son of the Raja Tugra , we shall hear 
again rather more in detail; the tradition is remarkable. 
Bhujyu had embarked on a maritime expedition against 
the enemies of his father, but encountered a storm, in 
which his vessel was lost; he was saved, and brought back 
to his father by the intervention of the Ashwins. 

Karkandhu and Vayya. — These are said to be Asuras 
whom the Ashwins extricated from misfortunes; but for 
the latter, see 1. 10. 4. 6. 

7. Shuchani. — No account is given of this person. 

Atri. — Atri, the patriarch, was thrown, it is said, by 

the Asuras into a cave with a hundred doors, at all of which 
fires of chaff were kindled: they were extinguished with 
cold water by the Ashwins ; or, according to Yaska , Atri 

Notes on Volume I 


is here a name of Agni, the eater (attri) of clarified butter, 
but whose appetite,'* or intensity, being checked by the 
heat of the sun in the hot weather, was renovated by the 
rain sent down by the Ashwins. 

Prishnigu and Purukutsa. — We have no particulars 
of these, except that Prishnigu is so named from his 
possessing brindled cows ( prishnayo gavo yasya). 

Page 177* 

8. Paravrij is called a Rishi; so are Rijrashwa and 
Shrona . The first is named without any epithet in the 
text; instead of the second, we have Prandha , the totally 
blind, and Shrona is not called a cripple, but is said to 
have been made to walk. The Scholiast supplies the 

The Quail. — Varttiku , the commentary calls a bird 
like a sparrow; the ordinary sense is ‘quail’. 

9. Vasishtha is well known, but in what manner he 
was assisted by the Ashwins does not appear; of the three 
others named in the text, it is only said that they were 
Risk is. 

10. The story of Vishpala is subsequently more fully 
alluded to; she was the wife of Khela , the son of Agastya . 
Vasha and Ashwa are called Rishis . 

11. Dirghashravas was the son of Dirghatamas , and 
therefore a Rishi; but, in a time of famine, he followed 
trade, to obtain a livelihood, hence he is termed a Vanik , 
a merchant; as the son of Ushij , he should be the same as 
Kakshivat (see note on I. 5. 1.1), but the text treats them, 
apparently, as distinct. 

12. Trishoka is called a Rishi ", the son of Kanwa , 
These holy persons were much exposed, apparently, to 

3 3. Mandhatri is called a Rishi , but a Rajarshi , a 
royal sage, is intended, as Mandhatri is a celebrated prince 


Rig-veda Translation 

of the solar dynasty {Vishnu Pur., 363); his regal character 
is also evident from his office ( kshaitra-patyeshu ); the 
derivative of kshetrapati , the lord, either of fields or of 
the earth. 

Page 178 

Bharadwaja. — Here we have also a name well known 
in Pauranik tradition ( Vishnu Pur ana, 449, and n. 15). 
He is termed in the text, Vipra, usually intending a Brah- 
man, but here explained medhavin , wise. 

14. Divodasa is a king well known in the Pauranik 
traditions {Vishnu Parana, 407), but no notice there occurs 
of his war with the Asura , Shambara , whom we have 
elsewhere seen destroyed by Indra (I. 10. 4. 4), in defence, 
h is also said (I. 10. 1. 6), of this prince, or, as he is there 
named, Atithigwa , the cherisher of guests {atithi), which 
is here employed as an epithet. 

Trasadasyu. — The son of Purukutsa , according to the 
Scholiast, concurring, in this respect, with the Vishnu 
Parana , p. 371. 

15. Vamra is called a Rishi , the son of Vikhanas; 
the text calls him Vipipanam , drinking much and vari- 
ously, which the Scholiast explains, drinking, especially 
earthly moisture, or dew, parthivam rasarn. (See note on 
I. 10. 1. 9) Of Kali no more is said than that he was a 
Rishi , nor of Prithi than that he was a Rajarshi . 

16. The second and third names have occurred 
before, the first is called a Rishi: the text has only, “You 
wished them to go” {gatum ishathuh ); the Scholiast adds, 
“out of evil or danger”. Manu is here called a Rajarshi , 
whom the Ashwins extricated from want, by teaching 
him the art of sowing the seeds of barley and other grains. 
Syumarashmi is Styled a Rishi. 

17. Patharvan is merely called a Rajarshi . Sharyata 
is probably intended for Sharyati , the fourth son of 

Notes on Volume I 


Vaivaswata Manu ( Vishnu Purana, pp. 354, 358), and 
the same prince is no doubt meant in a former passage 
(I. 10. 1. 12) by Sharyata, which may be an epithet of 
yajna, sacrifice, understood, — the sacrifice of Sharyati , — 
rather than a patronymic, although there rendered as a 
proper name, upon the authority of Sayana. “Of the 
race of Bhrigu," applies, also, to Chyavana , not to Sharyati. 
(See note on I. 10. 1. 12.) 

18. To recover the Stolen Cattle. — We have here 

attributed to the Ashwins a similar feat as that usually 
ascribed to Indra. • 

Sustained Manu, etc. — By making him aware, 
according to the commentary, of the grain hidden in the 
earth, or teaching him, in fact, agriculture. 

Page 179 

19. The Ashwins were the means, it is said, of 
obtaining the daughter of Purumitra as a wife for the 
Rishi Vimada. 

Sudas. — The name of a king, the son of Pijavana 
(I. 9. 4. 6 and note thereon); both names are unknown 
in the Puranas, although we have more than one Sudasa ; 
but they are sprung from other princes ( Vishnu Pur., pp. 
330-455). A prince named Paiyavana , or son of Piyavana, 
is noticed by Manu, 8, 110. 

20. Bhujyu has been named before (I. 16. 7. 6 and 
note thereon). Adhrigu is called a sacrifices or immolator, 
along with Chapa, of the gods; as by the text, — Adhrigus 
^Chapas cha devanam shamitarau. Ritastuhh is called a 

2 1 . Krishanu is enumerated by the Taittiriyds amongst 

a class called Somapalas, venders or providers, apparently, 
of the Soma plants; as by the text*,' Hasta-Suhasta- 
Krishanavah, te vah Somakrayanah. The term occurs 
also amongst the synonymes of Agni. t 

330 Rig-veda Translation 

Purukutsa, in the Puranas, is the son of Mandhatri 
and husband of Narmada, the river iVishnu Pur., p. 371): 
the text has only “of the young”; the comment supplies 

23. Worshipped in many Rites. — Shatakratu, the 
usual epithet of Indra; he to whom many rites are 
addressed, or by whom many acts are performed, is here 
applied to the Ashwins. 

Kutsa and Turviti have occurred before, although 
the affiliation of the former is new; of the other names, 
no account is given except that Purushanti is that of a 

24. Adyute, in the absence of light; that is, in the 
last watch of the night, or that preceding the dawn, at 
which time, according to Ashwalayana, as quoted by 
Sayana, the Ashwins are especially to be worshipped. 

Page 180 

1. In Like Manner as the Night, etc. — T hat is, 
when the sun sets, the night comes on; or it is generated 
by the setting of the sun, and may figuratively be termed 
his offspring; and, in like manner, as the precursor, 
night may be termed the parent, or womb, of the dawn. 

2. The Parent of the Sun. — A like conceit to that 
of the preceding verse, — the dawn precedes, and therefore 
figuratively bears, or is (he parent of, the sun. 

4. Brilliant Guide of the Speakers of Truth. — 
Upon the appearance of the dawn, the animals and birds 
utter their true, or natural, cries. 

Page 181 

9. As Thou hast Caused, etc. — F ires for burnt- 
offerings being properly lighted at the dawn. 

Page 182 

12. The Beings Hostile now Withdraw. — Raksha- 
sas, and .other malignant spirits, vanish with the dawn. 

Notes on Volume I 331 

Page 183 

19. Mother of the Gods.— The gods are awakened 
at dawn by the worship they then receive, and hence the 
dawn may be said figuratively to be their parent ( Mata 
devanam ), and in that character she is the enemy, or rival, 
of Aditi , who is their mother. 

1. We have a repetition here of the usual etymologies 
of Rudra , with some additions: He causes all to weep 
0 rodayati ) at the end of the world; or rut may signify 
‘pain,’ — the pain of living, which ho drives away 
(dravayati); or rut may mean ‘word,’ or ‘text,’ or the 
upanishads of the Vedas, by which he is approached, or 
propitiated ( druyate ); or rut may mean ‘holy or divine 
speech,’ or ‘wisdom,’ which he confers (rati) upon his 
worshippers; or rut may mean ‘darkness,’ that which 
invests or obstructs (runaddhi) all things, and which he 
dissipates ( vrinati ); or again, it is said, that while the 
gods were engaged in battle with the Asuras , Rudra , 
identified, with Agni, came and stole their treasure ; 
after conquering the enemy, the gods searched for the 
stolen wealth, and recovered it from the thief, who wept 
(arudat), and Agni was thence called Rudra . 

With Braided Hair. — Kapardine , from Kaparda , of 
which one meaning is, the jata , or braided hair, of Shiva, 
whence the Scholiast gives, as its equivalent, jatilaya. 
This looks very like a recognition of Shiva in the person 
of Rudra; it is not easy to suggest any other interpreta- 
tion, unless the term be an interpolation. 

The Destroyer of Heroes. — Kshayad viraya , in whom 
heroes (vira) perish ( vinashyanti ); or it ’may mean, of 
whom the imperial ((kshayantah praptaishwaryah) heroes 
(that is, the Maruts) are the sons. The epithet is jepeated 
in the following verses. 



Rig-veda Translation 

* Page 184 . 

4. The Accomplisher of Sacrifices. — Yajnasadham, 
i.e., sadhayitaram, be who makes the sacrifice well-desired, 
or perfect ( swishtam , or su ishtarri). 

The Tortuous. — Vanku, he who goes crookedly; 
what is meant by this is not explained. 

5. Him who has Excellent Food.— T he phrase is 
Varaha, literally a boar, and one who has a hard body, 
like a boar’s, may be intended; but the Scholiast prefers 
considering it as an abbreviation of varahara , from vara, 
good, and ahara, food. 

6. Rjjdra, the Father of the Maruts. — The pater- 
nity of Rudra, with respect to the Maruts, is thus accounted 
for by the Scholiast: ‘'After their birth from Did, under 
the circumstances told in the Puranas ( Vishnu Purana, 
p. 152), they were beheld in deep affliction by Shiva and 
Parvati as they were passing sportively along; the latter 
said to the former, ‘ If you love me, transform these 
lumps of flesh into boys’. Mahesha accordingly made 
them boys of like form, like age, and similarly accoutred, 
and gave them to Parvati, as her sons, whence they are 
called the sons of Rudra." The Nitimanjari adds other 
legends; one, that Parvati, hearing the lamentations of 
Did, entreated Shiva to give the shapeless births, forms, 
telling them not to weep (ma rodih ): another, that he 
actually begot them, in the form of a bull, on Prithivi, 
the earth, as a cow. These stories are evidently fictions 
of a much later era than that of the Vedas, being borrowed, 
if not fabricated, from the Tantras, and may be set aside, 
without hesitation, as utterly failing to explain the mean- 
ing of those passages in the Vedas which call the Maruts 
the sons of Rudra . 

Notes on Volume I 


Page 185 

1. Agni. — O r Vhakshus may mean ‘ the enlightener \* 
Mitra , Varuna, and Agni are said to be typical of the world, 
or of the seasons, perhaps, over which they preside. 

Atma jagatah , the soul of the world; from his per- 
vading and animating all things; or jagatah may be 
rendered, ‘of what is moveable’; it is followed by 
tasthushah , — of that which is fixed. The sun is the cause 
of all effects, whether moveable or immoveable (sa hi 
sarvasya sthavarajangamatmakasya karyavargasya kara - 
nam ). 

2. Ages. — Yugani , which may also be rendered, 
‘yokes for ploughs’; for, at this season (dawn), men 
seeking to propitiate the gods by the profit which agri- 
culture yields, equip their ploughs, or engage in the labours 
of the field. 

Page 186 

4. Diffused upon the Unfinished Task. — Madhya 
kartor-vitatam , spread in the middle of the affair; that is, 
the cultiyator, or artisan, desists from his labour, although 
unfinished, upon the setting of the sun. 

5. Mitra and Varuna are used, according to the 
commentary, by metonymy, for the world. 

His Rays. — Haritah , which may mean also his horses. 

1. Vimada. — See note on I. 16. 7. 19. The story, 
told by the Scholiast is, that Vimada , having won his bride 
at a Swayamvara , or choice of a husband by a princess, 
was stopped on his way home by his unsuccessful com- 
petitors, when the Ashwins came to his succour, and placed 
the bride in their chariot, repulsed the assailants, and 
carried the damsel to the residence of ^he prince. 

2. The Ass. — An ass ( rasabha ) given by Prajapati. 
The chariot of the Ashwins is drawn by two asses (i rasabha - 
vashwinoh ) — Nighantu , 1, 14; or it may mean, “one 



Rig- veda Translation 

going swiftly/’ and rest of the passage, “obtained prece- 
# dence for the Ashwins over other gods in the oblation, 
through his mastering the stanzas declared by Prajapati” 

3. Tugra. — See note on I. 16. 7. 6. Tugra , it is 
said, was a great friend of the Ashwins: being much 
annoyed by enemies residing in a different island, he sent 
his son Bhujyu against them, with an army on board 
ship; after sailing some distance, the vessel foundered 
in a gale; Bhujyu applied to the Ashwins , who brought 
him and his troops back in their own ships, in three days’ 
time, as appears*from this and the two following stanzas. 

Page 187 

4. This is a rather unintelligible account of a sea 
voyage, although the words of the text do not admit of 
any other rendering. 

5. A Hundred-oared Ship. — Shataritram navam , a 
ship with a hundred, that is, with many, oars. This 
stanza is consistent with the first of the triad. 

6. Pedu , it is said, was a certain Rajarshi, who 
worshipped the Ashwins ; they therefore gave hinj a white 
horse, through the possession of which he was always 
victorious over his enemies. 

7. Pajras is another name for An gi rasas, in which 
race Kakshivat was born. 

You filled, etc. — No account of the occasion of this 
miracle is given. 

9. Water issued, etc. — This has been elsewhere 
related of the Maruts (I. 14. 1. 10). The manner in which 
the well was presented to Gotama is somewhat obscurely 

Page 188 

10. The restoration of the ascetic Chyavana to youth 
and beauty is related in several Ptiranas; following, pro- 
bably, tMe Mcthabharatq , Vana Parva , he is there called 

Notes on Volume I 


the son of Bhrigu , and was engaged in penance near the 
Narmada river until* the white ants constructed their nests* 
round his body, and left only his eyes visible. Sukanya , 
the daughter of King Sharyati , having come to the place, 
and seeing two bright spots in what seemed to be an 
ant-hill, pierced them with a stick; the sage visited the 
offence upon Sharyati and his attendants, and was appeased 
only by the promise of the* king to give him his daughter 
in marriage. Subsequently, the Ashwins , coming to his 
hermitage, compassionated Sukanya's union, with so 
old and ugly a husband as Chyavana , and, having made 
trial of her fidelity, bestowed on the sage a similar condi- 
tion of youth and beauty to their own. This story does 
not seem to be the same, however, as that of the text, 
in which no allusion occurs to Sukanya , and the trans- 
formation of Chyavana precedes his matrimonial con- 
nection. He is termed jahita in the text; properly, 
abandoned; that is, according to the Scholiast, by sons, 
and others ( putradibhih parityakta ); but it may denote, 
perhaps* merely his solitary condition as an ascetic. In 
return for their friendly office, Chyavana compelled Indra 
to assent to the Ashwins, receiving at sacrifices a share 
of the Soma libation, which is not noticed in the text. 

11. Visible to Travellers. — See I. 16. 7. 5; for 
“well,” we have only darshatat in the text, — that which was 
to be seen by thirsty travellers, according to the com- 

12. We have here rather obscure allusions to a legend 
which was probably afterwards modified by the Puranas , 
in which the name also occurs as Dadhicha (see also note 
on I. 13. 11. 13). In the Mahabharqta , Vana Parva 9 
Vol- i, it is merely related, that the gods, being oppressed 
by the Kalakeyu Asuras y solicited from the sage Dadhicha 
his bones, which he gave them, and from which Twashtri 


Rig-veda Translation 

fabricated the thunderbolt with which Indra slew Vritra 
'and routed the Asuras. The legend of the text differs 
from this: Indr.., having taught the science called Pra- 
vargya vidya and Madhu-vidya to Dadhyanch, threatened 
that he would cut off his head if ever he taught them to 
any one else; the Ashwins prevailed upon him, neverthe- 
less, to teach them the prohibited knowledge, and, to 
evade Indra' s threat, took off t»he head of the sage, replac- 
ing it by that of a horse; Indra , apprized of Dadhyanch' s 
breach of faith, struck off his equine head with the 
thunderbolt; on which the Ashwins restored to him 
his own. The Pravargya vidya is said to imply certain 
verses of the Rik, Yujur, and Sama Vedas, and the 
Madhu-vidya the Brahmana. 

13. Vadrimati was the wife of a certain Rajarshi, 
who was impotent. The Ashwins, propitiated by her 
prayers, gave her a son. 

14. The Dog. — Vrika, more usually a wolf, but here 
said to be synonymous with shwan , a dog; it is elsewhere 
termed by the commentary aranya-shwan, a forest, or 
wild dog. Yaska interprets it figuratively, and renders 
Vrika by Aditya, the sun, from whose grasp, or over- 
powering radiance, the Ashwins are said to have rescued 
the dawn, upon her appeal to them. 

15. See I. 16. 7. 10. The story is here more fully 
detailed in the text; it is only added in the notes, that 
Khela was a king, of whom Agastya was the Purohita, 
and it was through his prayers that the Ashwins gave 
Vishpala an iron leg. 

Page 189 

. « 

16. Rijrashwa was one of the sons of Vrishagir (see 
I. 15. 7. 17); his blindness has been previously alluded to 
(I. 16. It 8), but here we have the story in detail. 

Notes on Volume I 


A She-wolf. — The Vriki was one of the asses of the 
Ashwins in disguisd, to test his charitable disposition;* 
but, as he exacted the sheep from the people, his father 
was angry, and caused him to lose his eyesight, which the 
Ashwins restored to him. 

17. Surya, it is related, was desirous of giving his 
daughter Surya to Soma, but all the gods desired her as a 
wife; they agreed that he who should first reach the sun, 
as a goal, should wed the damsel. The Ashwins were 
victorious, and Surya , well pleased by their success, rushed 
immediately into their chariot. 

18. The Bull and the Porpoise. — The Vrishabha 
and the Shinshumaru. The commentator calls the latter 
graha, which is properly an alligator; but the Shishumara, 
as it is usually read, is everywhere else considered to be a 
name of the Gangetic porpoise: they were yoked to the 
car of the Ashwins, the comment says, to display their 

19. The Family of Jahnu. — Jahnavi; Jdhnavi ; it is 

here considered as an adjective to praja , progeny ( Jahnoh 
prajam). Jahnu is called a Maharshi; he is a prince of 
the lunar dynasty in the Parana s. ( Vishnu Purana, 

p. 398.) 

20. Jahusha. — The name of a certain king; we have 
nothing relating to him, beyond what is stated in 
the text. 

21. Vasha, a Rishi, it is said, received daily presents 
to the number of one thousand. (See I. 16. 7. 10.) 

We have a Prithushravas amongst the Pauranik 
princes, but nothing particular is recorded of him. 

( Vishnu Purana, p. 420.) 

22. Of Shara, called Architka , or the son of 

Richitka, nothing is detailed. • 


Rig- veda Translation 

Page 190 

Shayu. — S ee I. 16. 7. 16. 

23. We have no particulars of Krishna , Vishwaka, 
and Vishnapu, except their being Rishis. 

24. Rebha. — See I. 16. 7. 5. 

Page 191 

7. Ghosha was the daughter of Kakshivat; she was 
a leper, and therefore unfit to be married; but, when 
advanced in years, she prayed to the Ashwins, who healed 
hpr leprosy and restored her to youth and beauty, so that 
she obtained a ‘husband. 

8. Shyava, a Rishi, had the black leprosy, but was 
cured of it by the Ashwins, and consequently married. 

The blindness of Kanwa is not adverted to in any of 
his hymns hitherto met with. 

The son of Nrishad is unnamed; he is termed a Rishi. 

Page 192 

11. The Son or- the Jar. — We have only “son” 

( sum ); the Scholiast adds, Kumhhat prasuta, that is, 
Agastya ; so, again, the text gives only vipraya, which the 
commentary amplifies by Bharadwajaya rishaye. 

12. Ushanas, the son of Kavi. 

14. With Swift Ships. — See I. 16. 7. 5. For swift, 
we have vibhih, to which the Scholiast adds, naubhih, 

16. Vishwanch. — Vishwanch is called an Asura; 
the text says, “whose son you killed with poison”; the 
commentator explains this to imply a poisoned arrow. 

Page 193 

20. It is only said of Purumitra, that he was a certain * 

21. Upon the Arya. — Aryaya; the Scholiast ex- 
plains this, vidushe, to the sage, that is, to, or upon, 
Mam; but the previous occurrence of Dasyu appears to 

Notes on Volume I 339 

warrant the understanding of Arya as its contrast, 
and to treat it as a national appellative. It may also 
be observed, that the text has Manusha, which the 
Scholiast says is here a synonyme of Manu, but which 
more usually designates man. 

Page 194 

22. Twashtri is here considered synonymous with 
Indra; the knowledge was kakshyam vam, — a girdle to 
you both; strengthening them to perform religious rites. 

24. Shyava. — He was cut into three pieces by the 
Asuras, it is said, which were reunited into one by the 

Page 195 

5. In this, and most of the following verses, we 
have allusions to the same persons and incidents as have 
been previously noticed, in most instances, repeatedly, 
but in general, in this hymn, more summarily. 

Page 196 

2. Urjani. — See I. 17. 1. 17, where she is named 


Page 1 97 

7. The Sage. — The text does not name him; the 
Scholiast calls him Vamadeva, but nothing further is said 
of him than that he invoked the aid of the Ashwins, whilst 
yet in his mother’s womb. 

8. This refers, it is said, to the story of Bhujyu, 
whom his father, Tugra, had abandoned, or rather, per- 
haps, was unable to succour. 

Page 198 

4. Immature. — Pakya, to be ripened; not yet 
* mature in wisdom ( paktavyaprajnanan ). 

5. Ghosha. — Who is called by the Scholiast, Suhasti. 

6. Blind Man. — Rijrashwa. 

Page 200 

2. Indra is here identified with the sun. 


Rig- Veda Translation 

Indra, in sport, is said to have made a mare bring 
forth a calf. 

4. The Threefold Crest. — Elevated as a triple crest 
in the three worlds. 

5. The Milch-Cow. — That is, the clarified butter of 
the oblations, from which the nutriment of all things 
proceeds, for the oblation ascends to the sun, by whom 
rain is engendered, from which springs corn, the support 
of living beings; when this has been done, Indra opens 
the doors of the cave, and rescues the cattle, as described 
in the preceding verse, with which this is connected. 

7. Hatchet. — Vanadhiti, the instrument that is to be 
applied to the forest, to cut down the trees. 

Pari rodhana goh . The phrase is rather elliptical, 
and there is no verb; the Scholiast interprets it, pasha 
rodhanaya yupe niyojanaya , pari samartho bhavati, — the 
priest, the adhwaryu , is competent for the attachment of 
the animal to the stake; or the whole passage may be 
differently rendered, vanadhiti being interpreted ‘a collec- 
tion of water’ ( vana ), that is, a body of clouds ( meghamala ); 
when this is ready for its office of raining, then Indra y 
being in the firmament, is able to remove any impedi- 
ment to the shower, goh being also rendered ‘water/ 
or ‘rain’. 

Page 201 

You shine upon, etc. — Indra being the same with the 


Upon the Man who goes, etc. — The phraseology is 
here very elliptical and obscure, the whole being merely 
anarvishe pashwishe turaya; being literally “to the carman/ 
to the cattle-driyer, to the quick,” without any verb; the 
Scholiast therefore supplies the connection, abhimatam 
sidhyet , — his wish may succeed, and amplifies, or trans- 
lates, aftarvishe , carman, as “he who goes to fetch fuel 

Notes on Volume I 


from the wood, in his cart”; pashwishe, the driver of 
cattle, and turaya,' the active, or quick, gopala, or* 

9. Brought by Ribhu from Heaven. — Divo anitam 
Ribhwa. The Scholiast considers the latter to be the same 
as Twaslitra, by Twashtri. No doubt Twashtri is most 
usually considered to be the fabricator of Indra's thunder- 
bolt; but we have had it before stated that the thunder- 
bolt was brought to Indrm by Ribhu. 

Didst Fncompass him with, etc. — This is most pro- 
bably allegorical, if it have any meaning. at all; Shushda 
is ‘drought’, and this Indra removes, for the benefit of 
his worshippers, by many drops of rain. 

Page 202 

12. Which inspiring Weapon, etc. — This is an 
unusual attribution to Vshanas, and rather incompatible 
with the statement of its having been the gift of Ribhu. 

1 3. Sura. — Sura, that is, Indra as the sun. 

Etasha is said to be the name of one of the horses of 
the sun. The word occurs in the Aitareya Brahmana as 
that of a Rishi. 

Ninety Rivers. — Navyanam , of navigable rivers, or 
of such as must be crossed by a boat. 

End of the First Ashtaka. 


(Occurring in the Text and Notes of this Volume; 

Adhrigu arms 
A dtlx 

Aditya 3?rf^T 

Adityas u (pi) 

Adityaloka TO 

Adiiyamandala 3TIT^T*T3«5 



Agni 3TTR 

Agni and Soma 

Agnichayana 3ri?T3RT*r 


Agnishtoma 3TfTOT*T 


Agnyadheya ajwusfa 


A hi srft 

Aitihasikas ^RTfTRT^r: 




Anjasi 3F5Rft 
An taka aicHfr 
Anlariksha mK% 
Antarikshaloka amftsrara 
Anus (pi) 

Apah W: 

Apana mR 
Apris Wrfi (pi) 

Apiyas ^n^rr: 


Archatl(a 3?l%c3> 

Arishta WtZ 


Arjikiya wsffafw 





Aryaman , 

Index of Names 


Arpas (pi.) 

Asikni 3TT%ift 
Asridh zmv 
Asses of the Ashmns 
Asura arg* 

A suras 3Tg*!f: 

Asuri Mapa zugfr ■FfT^rr 

Ashwins 3Tf%5n (dual) 
Atithigtva 3TfcfT*m 
Atri arfir 

Aipagrtishloma 3MTFTSW 
Aupasana 3TPTrcra 
A pa SW 
Apu arrg 
Apus arrpr 




Bhaga *FT 

Bhagirathi *rrtfrt*rr 

Bharadxvaja *TTTST«T 


Bharati *TR?fr 


Bhrigu gg 

Bhrigus (pi. of Bhriguy 
Bhujpu jpg 
Brahma 3RSIT 

Brahmanaspati siSlWF'Tfrf 



Brihat TO 


Budha jpT 

Chapa ^TT 
Chitrabhanu f%^T*Tig 
Chpavana ’SSPJPT 
Cows of Ushas 

Dabhiii gsfifa 
Daksha ^ 

Dakshina ^T$r°TT 



Index of Names 


Dasras ^RT 
Dasyus (pi) 
Dhishana fWTT 
Dhrishnu V J*3 

Dm m 


Divodasa f^rfcRT 
Dravinodas S[f%^fr^g 
Druhyus (pi) 
Dwita fer 

Ehimayasah ^rfRRTRT: 
Efyaia ^cT 
Etasha TTcT^T 
. Ev ay a van H C ^ ,C H 

Gadhi Rrfa 

Ganga *T*Tr 
Gar hapatya *n^<rar 

Garutman ^TficiTrR 
(Nom. sing, of Garulmat) 
Gaihin *TfRR[ 

Ghora ^TR 
Ghosha RW ’ 

Gomaii tfweft 
Gopa *n*rr 
Golama ’TTfW 
Gravastut JTREfR 



H arishchandra ?R^if 

Haviryajnas ?T%4*rr: 



Hiranyagfirbha fin; o 4 , TR 




Index of Names 



Homa ?T*T 
Hotra ff^TT 
Hotri ft<J 




InrLra & 




Jahnu ^^3 
Jahusha ^{pST 
Jeiri 51^ 

Jivalajihrva ^1*51151? 
Ka * 

Kakshivat TOGfoPt 
Kali ^ 


KapardinW r^3. 






KaVVa ^T«2T 
Kavyavah 3>°^T5 

Krishanu t>SfT3 
Kulishi ^Rwrft 
Kurus (ph) 

Kutsa 3><*T 

M adhuchhandas 


Mandhatri (sage) 

Mandhalri (king) 


Manu ^3 


Index of Names 


Marie hi 5 fRIf% 
Marjaltya JTFsfraR 
Maruts (pi) 
Maiarishwan *TIcIR^ 
Matris *TR \ (pi) 
Medhatiihi WRTW 

Mena WI 
Miira firsr 




Nara •TCI 
Narashansa 'KRW 
iVarpa «T ? T 

Nasatpas «Tf?T^T (pi) 
Neshlri %£ 

'Nirrili fr^fcT 
Nodhas #!’<**[ 


Pajras T¥W 
Pakayajnas 'TW^rr: 
Pani Toft 

Papadevata 'TI'T^ffT 
Parashara 'FTTSTT 
Paravrij qo?3f 
Parnapa IWq 
P atharvan 
Pavani Tl^sfr 
Pedu qf 
Pipru R3 
Pilris m_ (pi.) 
Plafyshaga WTF 
Poiri qicj 
Prachetas JTRrtH 
Prana SW 
Prashaslri SRIFE? 
Prashitra 3IRT5T 

Prapajas (pi.) 
Prishatih I'SRft: , 


Index of Names 

.Prishni ’i'*' 01 
Prishnigu 3^3 

Priihi sfa 

Priihivi sf*pft 


Priihushravas 33^3. 




Purohita 3*^ 


Purumitra 3^1*^ 

PuTuniiha S^I? 5 ? 
Pururavas 3^^3 
Purus 3^ ( pi •) 
Purushanli 3^^ 
Pusha 3?l 
Pushan 3?3 


Rakshasas or 





Ribhu ^ 

Rich ^3 
Richaika W*** 

Rijishivan ^SPSTC. 
Rijrashrva ^W’Sf 
Rishis (pi.) 
Ritastubh ^*33 
Ritu ^3 

Rohits (pi.) 
Rudra ^5 

Sahadeva ^444 
Sahasasputra *T?^3^ 
Sahasralfsha ?T^?tl§r 
Saman STW3. 
Samba 3«r 
Sanakas (pi.) 
Santpa ^91 

Index of Names 



Satwanah ^TT?r: 
Sauchifya *rWl3> 
Shaqra 3F35 
Shamitri ^TRHJ 
Shanyu 3Fg 
Share m 
Sharyata Wm 
Sharyati WrfeT 
Shastra 3T$T 
Shatavani ^TcT^TF% 
Shayu 3Tg 
Shimyus F3I*g (pi.) 
t Shipha 
Shiva m 
Shrona STW 
Shrutarya . 

Shuchanii SJ^TrT 
Shushna 3^1 
Shutudri 35*^ 
Shnntra fijsrr 
Shivitrya P<aT> 2 f 

Sindhumaiara RTgmcRT 
Sita ^ftcTT 
Soma SW 
Somapas ^T^TT (pi.) 
Somapalas (pi.) 

Somapati WTR* 
Somayagas (p/.) 

Somayajnas (pi.) 

Srinjayas (pi.) 
Stoma ^ 


Sudasa §^I3T 
Suhastya 5?^ 

Sul? any a jpE**IT 




Index of Names 

Sura §T 
Surpa 314 
Surpa 3f4T 
Susoma §4T4T 
Sushumna §5 ro T 
Stishravas S443T 
Swadha ^T4T 
S tv aha ^ri?r 
Sivarga 4f^r 
Sivarlofca T44l4i 
Sivaslnvp 34-^T 
Spumarashmi T^ 4 TIT 4 

Tanunapat ?4T44T4. 
Tarfehpa 54*4 
T raitana 444 

Trishiras 1 %I%T 4 
Trishoka fWl? 

Trita 144 

T rivil(rama I^T%4>4 
T ugra 34 
Turvasha 5^ 

T urvasu 343 
T urvapana 344W 
T urviti Suffer 
T TVashtri m% 

Udgatri 4s?13 
Ugradeva 44^4 
Ul(iha 444 
Ukihya 44«4 
Upapajas 44414 (pi.) 
Urjani 44141 
U&hanas 4444 
Ushas 444 
Ushasas 4444 

Ushtj 4IW 

Vach 4T4 
Vadhrimati 4TSI4cft 
V agdevata 444441 
Vagdevi 41*441 
Vahni 4% 

V aislnvadava 4444 
V aishrvanara 4*<374T 
V aja 4141 
V ajas 4I^T4 
V amadeva 41444 
V amana 4144 
Vamra 4?T 

Index of NXMes 

Y anaspati WWWFcF 
V andana 
V angrida 
Vani WF'Jr'r 
Varaha W*F£ 

V arshagiras WWWR; (pi) 
V aruna WW 
Varunani W?°lF*ft 
V arutri W’PFl 
Vasha WWH 
V ashatfyara WWS35FT 
V asistha WWW 
Vasu W§ 

V asToofyasara W^FWWITF 
Vayu wig 
V ayva 
Vedhas kkij 
V ena WWf 
Vibhu FWg 
Vifyhanas IW^W 
Vimada FW*FW 
Vipash FWWfWT^ 

Virapaini WF^WeFT 
JYirupa FW^T 
Vishnfrpu I%wn^ 

Vishnu FWW3 

Vishpala %W5IT 
Vishpati %WTcT 
Vishwadevas TW^Wr: 
Vislmafca !W^ 
Vishwamitra FW-^rrwW 
Vislmavasu rw^rwg 
Vitasta FWWWr 
Vrichaya fWWF 
Vrishagir WWfRtt 
V rishanpshrva 
Vrilra fW 

Yadu Wj| 

Y ajnas W? (pi) 

Yajus wg*r 

Yama WW 

Y am ad uti WW^fTF 


Yamuna wgwi 

Yaiud hangs WTg'WFW (pi) 

Yayati WW!f% 



No. of 





Stanzas in the 

No. of the 





































10 ’ 






































































































































X V 



of the Hymns 


No. of Stanzas 

Serial No. 


Anuvaka and 

in the Sukta 

of the Sukta 




. 6. 






. 6. 






, 7. 






























































































































10 . 














































Index of the Hymns 



No. of Stanzas 

Serial No. 


Anuv?ka and 

in the Sukta 

of the Sukta 



I. 11. 





I. It. 





I. 11. 





I. 11. 





I. 11. 





I. 12. 





I. 12. 

• 2 




I. 12. 





I. 12. 





I. 12. 





I. 12. 





I. 12. 





I. 12. 





I. 12. 





I. 13. 





I. 13. 





I. 13. 





I. 13. 





I. 13. 





I. 13. 





I. 13. 





I. 13. 





I. 13. 





I. 13. 





I. 13. 





I. 14. 





I. 14. 





I. 14. 





I. 14. 





I. 14. 





I. 14. 



. 90 

356 Index to the Hymns 



Anuvaka and 


































„ I. 




















































































" I. 







No. of Stanzas Serial No. 
in the Sukta of the Suktat 































































371*46 Printed at The Bangalore Press, Bangalore City 
O. Srinivasa Ftao. Superintendent.